State governors in the PDP have not ganged up against President Jonathan in the selection of a new chairman for the ruling party, Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio said yesterday. Akpabio, who spoke in Abuja shortly after a meeting of the National Economic Council in which all state governors are members, said reports that they were plotting to defeat the president’s choice were not true. “(Those) are speculations,” he said when asked by State House correspondents if the governors had teamed up against Jonathan. “I don’t believe that any governor would do that: to gang up against the president.”
Ahead of the People’s Democratic Party’s national convention scheduled for March 24, reports say Jonathan prefers Alhaji Bamanga Tukur for the post of national chairman, which has been zoned to the Northeast. But the governors are reported to be opposed to Tukur, preferring instead to choose from among other candidates. Among those in the race are PDP national publicity secretary Rufai Ahmed Alkali, acting national secretary Musa Babayo, former Bauchi governor Ahmadu Muazu, Senator Muhammad Abba Aji, Dr. Shettima Mustapha. Yesterday, a report said the PDP governors had resolved to frustrate any candidate loyal to Jonathan from holding any party position, because they blamed the president for the failure of former Bayelsa governor Timipre Sylva to secure the party’s ticket.