Some governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party have expressed fear that President Goodluck Jonathan may unleash operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on them ahead of the 2015 general elections.
Investigations by our correspondents on Sunday revealed that some of the governors feared that the President might use the anti-graft agency to harass any of them opposed to his desire to seek re-election in 2015.
Jonathan’s confidant, and former Minister of Information, Chief Edwin Clark, who on Friday alleged that the governors were a threat to the nation’s democracy, heightened the governors’ fears.
The former minister said the governors were behaving like an opposition party to the Federal Government.
Following this, an aide to one of the governors from the North-East, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it was almost certain to the President’s team that their principal won’t get the governors’ endorsement for 2015.
This, he said, was why the President and his handlers were in a hurry to give the governors a bad name before the public.
He said, “We know the President will later ask the EFCC to start harassing the governors. The governors are ready for this. Already, we have intelligence reports that the Presidency has infiltrated the security personnel around the governors by asking them to write full reports about their movements and travelling.
“We also know that the security personnel have been directed to monitor the governors’ expenses and overseas travels. So, as the battle for the soul of the PDP continues, we will continue to witness this and many more.”
He alleged that both the Presidency and the security agents had placed three governors under what he called “intensive surveillance”.
Although he did not name the governors, he noted that two were from the South-South, while one was from the North-West.
Our correspondents also gathered from another source that the anti-graft agency might extend its search to include governors’ family members, especially their wives and children.
A governor from the North-Central said the use of EFCC against the perceived enemies of the President would not be a new thing.
He recalled that former President Olusegun Obasanjo used the agency to suppress those he considered his political enemies.
However, Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Dr. Ahmed Gulak, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, said those whose hands were clean had nothing to fear.
He noted that before Clark spoke, another elder statesman, Prof. Jibrin Aminu, made a similar statement, describing the governors as constituting a problem to the nation’s democracy.
Gulak said, “The President did not and will never unnecessarily interfere with the actions and activities of the EFCC, it is an independent body.
“The EFCC must be up and doing, the problem we have in this country is that we set up a body, if they do, their jobs we say it is a political job, if they refuse to do their jobs, you accuse them of indolence and docility.”
Meanwhile, the governors are meeting in Abuja on Monday night (today), where several issues are to be discussed.