Monday, 14 February 2011

Jonathan appears to be resisting moves by rival factions

President Goodluck Jonathan appears to be resisting moves by rival factions in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to get him make him to intervene in the current crises in the party over the list of candidates. There have reportedly been moves by rival candidates in Ogun, Oyo, Enugu and Abia states to get Jonathan's support. Currently, there is uncertainty about the candidates that the PDP will present in the four states because there are court orders and counter-orders on the party's lists.

In addition, many of the affected candidates are uncertain about their political future because will be difficult, if not impossible for them to content the election under the umbrella of an alternative party after Monday 14th February. That is the deadline for the political parties to withdraw or substitute their candidates for the forthcoming elections in April.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had published the names of all the prospective candidates in the April 2011 general elections. In most of the States there have been few surprises but, in these four States where the primaries were contentious, there were a few candidates who failed to win the status of being “ INEC-approved ” candidates for the general election.

In Ogun State, where the PDP primaries were particularly contentious and led to the two separate factions. One was allegedly spearheaded by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in cahoots with the Minister of Commerce and Industry Jubril Martins-Kuye, while the other was led by outgoing Governor Gbenga Daniel. The two conducting separate primaries which came up with two different sets ofcandidates. However the Obasanjo faction recorded a major coup by beating Daniel's faction to the punch and getting its own list approved and published by INEC .

A notable casualty from the latter's unsuccessful faction is the Speaker of the House of Representatives , Dimeji Bankole, who had suddenly defected from the Obasanjo faction to the Gbenga Daniel faction. This was surprising because of the well documented hostility between Bankole and Daniel. Unfortunately for Bankole, his gamble failed to pay off because the INEC rejected the list produced by the Gbenga Daniel faction. The governor also lost out because he had won the senatorial ticket in the PDP primaries organised by his faction.

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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