Despite the growing crisis that is threatening to tear his party apart and hurt his 2015 presidential ambition, President Goodluck Jonathan remained unruffled, insisting he was on top of the crisis.
A cocktail of crisis has been boiling in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, snowballing into the reinstatement of the Adamawa State executives of the party, which had been sacked by the National Working Committee (NWC) headed by Alh. Bamanga Tukur, who is seen as Jonathan’s point man.
But just as the party tried to grapple with the ripples thrown up by the sudden change of mind over Adamawa, Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, sacked the National Secretary of the PDP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who was allegedly foisted on the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP to protect former President Obasanjo’s interest in the NWC.
Kafarati ruled that Oyinlola was not fit to remain in office as the national scribe of the party since his election had been voided by two courts.
The National Secretary’s sack is said to have been hailed as a positive development by Jonathan’s loyalists, who see him as an Obasanjo’s mole in the NWC.
In the aftermath of the crisis thrown up by the revolt by the NWC members against Tukur and the sack of Oyinlola, many party faithful are said to have expressed worry that the crisis could rob Jonathan of his re-election bid in 2015.
Seeing the hand writing on the wall, Jonathan quickly summoned governors elected on the PDP platform on Wednesday and pleaded with them to allow peace to reign in the party.
Sources told Sunday Vanguard that the President was deeply concerned about the worsening party discipline and was determined to checkmate the slip by wielding the big stick. “I can tell you that it was in a bid by Mr. President, who is the leader of the party in Nigeria, to halt the slide in the party that he summoned an emergency of the stakeholders of the party last Wednesday during which he called for restraint by all the factions,” a competent presidential aide said.
The Obasanjo camp is said to be poised to take a pound of flesh from Jonathan camp for allegedly trying to rubbish the former President, after he single-handedly foisted him on Nigerians in 2007 with a view to remotely ruling Nigeria from his Ota farm.
The current intra-party crisis is said to have jostled Jonathan’s minders, who fear that PDP governors who are ending their second term in office were bent on stopping the President’s re-election bid.
However, the Political Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, told Sunday Vanguard in an exclusive interview that the President was not ruffled by the crisis in the PDP.
Gulak said, “Yes, there are challenges in the party but Mr. President is trying his best to resolve them in the interest of the party and the nation.
“I can assure you that Mr. President will not allow the crisis in his party to affect national interest and well-being of Nigerians.
“The President is on top of the situation and he is already achieving results. I want to tell you that soon this party problem will be a thing of the past.”