President Goodluck Jonathan the governors of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) held a closed door meeting on Sunday, October 19, 2014 in Abuja and one of the issues discussed was the presidential ambition of a former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
According to Punch report, some of the governors had asked President Jonathan for “a Buhari challenge”, while others were said to have dismissed it, saying that he stands no chance of defeating the President in 2015 if he emerged as the candidate of the APC.
Also discussed was the issue of endorsements by governors in their states which was a growing concern.
A source at the meeting who spoke on condition of anonymity said Jonathan warned the governors against supporting unpopular candidates as their successors in their respective states.
“The President said he was not against us (governors) picking our candidates, but that we should make sure we have a popular person without blemish. He said such a candidate must also be acceptable to the generality of the members of the party in our states and that the candidates must be able to win the election.
“It is wrong to say the President is against us. He also said that we should make sure that the candidate must have a clean record so that the opposition will not capitalise on this against such a candidate at the election petition tribunal,” he said.
The source disclosed that they also discussed the desire of some of the outgoing governors to contest for senatorial seats on the PDP platform, adding that no agreement was reached on this but they agreed to have another round of discussions which would involve the national leadership of the party.
Report had surfaced over the weekend that there was heightened tension in the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party over Senatorial seats in 2015 as some of the incumbent Senators have vowed not to vacate their seats for the outgoing governors unless they will be allowed to take the place of the governors.
“If the governors want to take our position, they should also allow us to take their positions as governors,” one of the aggrieved senators was said to have complained to the President.
Meanwhile, there are indications that President Goodluck Jonathan and the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) may face some challenges in the Southeast and South-south in the forthcoming 2015 elections.