In a bid to further divide the ranks of governors elected on the platform of the Peoples’s Democratic Party, PDP, President Goodluck Jonathan has invited six of them to the party’s National Caucus Meeting.
However, it is not known by which criteria the President invited the governors who are Ibrahim Shema of Katsina, Isa Yuguda of Bauchi, Gabriel Suswam of Benue, Theodore Orji of Abia, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom and Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta.
The president’s decision was conveyed to the governors and the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur via a letter dated February 27.
In the letter which was signed by the President’s Chief of Staff, Dr Mike Oghiadhome, three ministers – Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke Bello; Transport Minister, Sen. Idris Umar and Petroleum Minister, Mrs Dieziani Allison-Madeuke – were also invited to the meeting.
Oghiadhome wrote in the letter with reference number SH/COS70/A/7232: “His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR has directed that the National Caucus Meeting of the PDP be convened on Wednesday, the 6th of March, 2013 at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja.”
Part VIII(30) of the party’s constitution spells out those who can be members of the caucus, such as the national chairman of the party, the President, the Vice President, Senate President and his deputy, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and his deputy, and the Leaders, Chief Whips and their deputies of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Also listed are six governors who are members of the party to be nominated by the President bearing in mind the need for spread, the chairman and secretary of the board of trustees, and a member of the board of trustees drawn from each geo-political zone.
A member of the National Working Committee of the party, who preferred not to be named, told our correspondent of his wonder as to why the President would always favour his geo-political zone when making appointments.
He pointed out that the President would have picked two governors from other zones outside the South-South zone where he picked both Uduaghan and Akpabio.
“The President should have used that as an opportunity to make a statement that he is not in government to serve the interest of his people at every given opportunity,” he added.
On the nomination of Allison-Madueke as one of the three members nominated as members of the caucus by the President, the NWC member added that it was wrong for the President to nominate three of his kinsmen out of nine persons he has the power to nominate into a committee.
He said that the governors were already beginning to wonder and grumble about the criteria the President used to nominate those he picked for the meeting.
A governor, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that it was wrong for the President to have omitted the Rivers State Governor and the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Amaechi from the list.
Another source pointed out that almost all those invited for the meeting were good at what the source termed “villa politics”, and were said to have played a major role in establishing the PDP Governors’ Forum.
It is believed that the Forum which is headed by Akpabio, was formed to challenge Amaechi’s NGF.