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Obasanjo's Kaduna Visit Stirs Jonathan, Sambo Tension

Obasanjo's Kaduna Visit Stirs Jonathan, Sambo Tension

In what could become a replay of what transpired between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his then deputy, Atiku Abubakar, between 2003 and 2007, culminating in a sharp division within the Presidency, there are strong indications that the cordial relationship between President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice-President Namadi Sambo may have turned frosty.

Sources revealed that this development is the alleged aftermath of the recent visit of Obasanjo to Kaduna some days ago to commiserate with the people and government of the state on the death of former governor, Patrick Yakowa, in the helicopter crash which occurred in Bayelsa State last month.

But according to security reports made available to the president, Obasanjo’s sympathy visit was a decoy to achieve another objective: mobilise influential traditional rulers in the state against the alleged second term ambition of the president and canvass support for the return of power to the north.

What particularly peeved the president, sources said, is the alleged role played by the Vice President in facilitating the meeting between Obasanjo and traditional rulers without taking his boss into confidence.

At the said meeting, the former president was alleged to have impressed it on the traditional rulers led by the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, on the imperative of ensuring that the presidency returns to the north in 2015, and the urgent need to start mobilising the people and major stakeholders to back the project.

While he was alleged to have admitted to his audience that he supported the president to win the last general elections, sources privy to the outcome of the meeting said that Obasanjo told the traditional rulers that the ‘agreement’ he had with Jonathan was for the president to spend only one term in office.

The former president reportedly told his hosts that his recent public criticism of the present administration was borne out of his findings that the president is allegedly bent on contesting for another term in office.

Though The Nation could not confirm the response of the traditional rulers to Obasanjo’s speech it was, gathered that palpable unease currently reigns in the Presidency since the vice-president returned to the seat of power from Kaduna.

All of these developments come as reports that the president may have decided to drop Sambo as his running mate for the 2015 presidential election in favour of an unnamed northern governor continue to gather steam within the political circles.

This alleged plot, it was gathered, was a strategic move to polarise the rank of the northern governors, a few of whom are alleged to be interested in contesting the Presidency come 2015.

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