Friday, 13 September 2013
Nigeria: Jonathan oscillates between compromise and vengeance
But the situation remains very much in flux. Since returning from a state trip to Kenya at the weekend, President Goodluck Jonathan has been in damage-control mode, racing through emergency meetings with friend and foe alike. He met former military leader Ibrahim Babangida and former PDP chairman Ahmadu Ali on 10 September, who could give him crucial support but they seem ambivalent towards Jonathan. Olusegun Obasanjo, who is also a key intermediary, was abroad in Belgium on 10-11 September. He seems to have numerous allies among the rebels.
Jonathan then held a closed meeting with members of the New PDP: Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto). While no conclusions emerged, there are concessions that Jonathan could make to pacify the rebels. Those would be, firstly, the removal of Bamanga Tukur from the PDP chairmanship; secondly, the reinstatement of Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi to the party and as chairman of the Nigeria Governors' Forum. The second concession is much more unlikely because of the high degree of personal animosity between Jonathan and Amaechi.
The New PDP, in fact, has already lifted Amaechi's suspension via the procedures of their own faction. Should the warring factions choose to reunite down the road, Jonathan and his supporters would be under pressure to accept this.
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