Bamanga Tukur’s emergence and the new war among Northern PDP gladiators:Analysis of Jonathan-Obasanjo divide-and -rule tactics



By Danlami Nmodu

There is no question about who was the real winner at the end the national convention of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party,PDP:Goodluck Ebelo Jonathan of course.Perhaps you may add -ably tutored by ex President Olusegun Obaanjo who was at the Eagle Square to ensure the emergence of Bamanga Tukur  and Olagunsoye Oyinlola as national  chairman and secretary of the party respectively.

It was for them, a strategic battle with an eye on a bigger prize:the 2015 presidency.The ase with which Jonathan succeeded has made  some discerning northerners harp  on the fact that the north has already lost out.What no one seems to have said is how the northern presidential gladiators were decimated by the use of the power of incumbency .

Clearly,a  divide- and- rule tactic laced with carrot –and- stick was unleashed to facilitate the emergence of Tukur.But  the bigger war among the northern presidential aspirants is expected to commence now.At the national level it is believed that the battle for the post of vice president has kicked off  and it will create distrust and mutual suspicion among northern political gladiators especially the governors. Isa Yuguda of Bauchi, Babangida Aliyu of Niger state,Sule Lamido of Jigawa and Rabiu Kwankwaso  of Kano are believed  to be men who will intensify their battle for the office.This will  equally pit them against the incumbent Vice President Namadi Sambo who will be struggling to keep his job.The above  assertions assume  that Jonathan will run in 2015.But there is also the probability that these ‘men’ will also be hoping that they ‘grab’ the office of the president if Jonathan fails to run.And Atiku Abubakar is likely to be among those  battling for that job too.Even Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa too is said to be eying any of the top jobs of either vice president or President.The names of ex Governor Adamu Aliero and Ahmed Makarfi are mentioned among the gladiators eyeing the top job.In fact ,Aliero as Newsdiaryonline recently reported  was told to decamp from CPC so that he will be Jonathan’s VP in 2015.But it must be clear to him now that it may not be that easy.

Evidently,Jonathan  has succeeded in setting the northern gladiators against themselves. And with the northern house divided, he is very unlikely to have any  serious opposition within PDP  come 2015 as the gladiators will henceforth be battling to ‘grab’ whatever comes  from the master’s table.

Newsdiaryonline learnt that former President Obasanjo actually played a central role in wooing Aliero back to PDP  from the CPC.One source claimed that obasanjo whipped up ethnic sentiments that portrayed the incumbent President and Vice President Sambo as coming from the same South South zone.Why should the south south  produce president and vice president, the formerly president  allegedly said in what may have been his ingenious means of convincing Aliero.If Aliero came back to PDP, he would be granted the post of VP in jonathan’s 2015 campaign to correct the imbalance.Newsdiaryonline could not confirm this claim about Obasanjo’s statement ,but it  is believe such strategy was anchored on the rumour that the Sambo is actually from Edo North. A source said obasanjo was just being mischievous because  “there is equally the rumour all over that even  Aliero too is known  to have Yoruba origin”. Th source continued that “For us in the North this issue of people  originating  from elsewhere doesn’t matter .We know  some  ex governors who were not from the north   or some particular states but they became governors in places like Kano and Sokot states among others .We are accommodating  and tolerant people.It is Obasanjo who is using all this to polarize the politicians and we know it”

.Aliero a former governor of Kebbi state decampecd to PDP along with the CPC gubernatorial candidate.Whether his sacrifice will make Jonathan and obasanjo fulfil their  reported  ‘promise’ remains unclear.For now, nothing appears certain.

What is predictable is that the PDP in the north will henceforth remain a house divided against itself .For instance ,Tukur   said one source” will never see eye to eye with the governors of the North East zone” that ensured his humiliation at the zonal congress.Dr  Musa Babayo floored Tukur as Babayo garnered 14 votes against Tukur’s 2.In fact, many had thought Tukur’s ambition was over.But Jonathan and Obasanjo  had other ideas.Governors of Gombe,Bauchi  and Adamawa state were known to have worked for Babayo and it is expected that henceforth they may have a turbulent relationship with the new chairman.There was actually report that former vice President Atiku Abubakar had his hand in Babayo’s victory as well.But it is the expected turbulent relationship between the governors and Tukur that will  continue to attract attention.

Some insiders believe that Atiku needs to come up with a new card, otherwise the Jonathan –OBJ alliance has dealt a major blow to Atiku’ s 2015 calculations already with the choice of Tukur as PDP’s national chairman.Atiku and Tukur are both from the same Ganye, the same local government, the same chiefdom and they are both traditional title holders from the same state.

Aside from the gladiators from the far north Newsdiaryonline has learnt that  Senate President David Mark from the North Central zone has paid homage to Jonathan and declared his support for Jonathan’s 7- year bid from 2015.Mark  according to sources however told the president that if Jonathan decides not to contest, he Mark is available as the most qualified northerner. But if the president will run, he (Mark)wants to remain as senate president.When contacted one of Mark’s associates described this as an unlikely scenario.He claimed that Mark does not act like that.The associate also said Mark is too busy trying to stabilize the senate to have time for such schemings .Where did he meet the president?Will the person who told you this also agree to come on record?He won’t because he know what he said is untrue, the associate said .But Newsdiaryonline got this information from two independent  sources.

Providing  an insight into what Tukur’s emrgence means ,a prominent northern politician said since Jonathan facilitated  Tukur’s victory, “ he will be a ‘lameduck chairman’ at the mercyof Jonathan who made him against the wishes of his people.Tukur is expected to be compensated with the expected emergence of his son Awwal Tukur as the next governor of Adamawa state.In return,the new chairman will support Jonathan’s 7- year  bid in 2015 against the wishes of his supposed northern constituency-the larger northern Nigeria”.

As things stand Jonathan’s strategy has been to tactically keep his northern challengers battling for prominence.This will in turn keep them divided against themselves.Whether this strategy can be sustained for too long remains to be seen.”The sad fact is that the northern gladiators have since the obasanjo era fallen too cheaply to the designs meant to keep the region at war with itself”.A notable example was how a prominent Kano politician who is actually said to be of Jukun  origin in Taraba state was mobilized by Obasanjo to protest against the emergence of service chiefs from the middlebelt by  his regime.”The utterances by this old politician after being mobilized with just N2million put the  far north in trouble with the Middlebelt  people  ‘’ a northern politician told Newsdiaryonline.

 

 

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