An intense cold war appears to be brewing in the northwest zone of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State vehemently voiced opposition to the spate of endorsements of President Goodluck Jonathan’s reelection bid, describing the campaign as a ruse. Mr. Lamido has ambitions to become the president, and is reportedly backed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The political feud in the zone rose to a new level today as Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aminu Bashir Wali, rebuked Mr. Lamido in a statement, describing the governor’s recent criticism of the president as unfortunate. Mr. Wali, who is one the anchormen for Mr. Jonathan’s reelection, added that the zone’s support for Mr. Jonathan was irreversible.
An aide of Governor Lamido in Abuja told SaharaReporters that the governor had received Mr. Wali’s statement. The aide, who promised that the governor would soon release a formal response, described Mr. Wali’s statement as a “hatchet job.” He added that Mr. Wali was not an official of the party at the zonal level, wondering why the minister “did not allow the chairman [of the PDP], Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure, to respond to the governor.” He said Mr. Lamido would issue a statement after studying Mr. Wali’s stern statement.
Mr. Wali’s statement, obtained by our correspondent, read in part: “Our attention has been drawn to a publication widely circulated in the media purported to have emanated from the Jigawa State Governor challenging the resolution of our expanded stakeholders meeting wherein he claimed that Jigawa State was not part of the resolution.
“It is against this backdrop that we deemed it necessary to clear the air on this and other sundry issues raised by the Deputy Governor in his press briefing at his office in Dutse, the capital of Jigawa State. Let me firmly and explicitly state that the decision to hold the expanded stakeholders meeting was a culmination of several meetings held amongst the key stakeholders of the zone and Jigawa State was always represented by the deputy governor in such meetings. It was also agreed at such fora that each state must first hold its stakeholders meeting before the expanded meeting, which we believe was complied with by each state chapter of the party.
“The outcome of the meetings by the state chapters gave rise to the North-West Zone meeting. The expanded stakeholders resolved to urge President Goodluck Jonathan to contest for the Office of the President come 2015. This decision was the position of the majority of the stakeholders present at the meeting. Therefore to concretize it, Ambassador Aminu Wali was directed to read the communiqué and make it public as prepared and submitted by the Party. This accounted for the presence of the Governors and Deputy Governors including that of Jigawa State standing behind Ambassador Aminu Wali while he was reading the communiqué, to demonstrate their support and endorsement of the outcome of the meeting.
“Therefore, for the Deputy Governor to return to Jigawa State and to summon a press conference dissociating himself and the Jigawa State Governor from the communiqué is an afterthought and rather very unfortunate. We have no atom of idea as to the reason for such denial. We therefore find it necessary to put the record straight by confirming that we stand by the contents and outcome of our communiqué.”
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