Renewed high level search for a possible replacement of ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua ahead of 2010 election may have forced the northern senators and their governors into another fierce battle of supremacy.
“We (northern senators) will not allow the governors, who do not wish our people well, to take the lead; we have to show the direction our people will go this time around,” the legislators reportedly said.
The lawmakers, who are said to have already received the blessing of former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, and other key traditional rulers from the north, are set to constitute four different teams to effectively propagate their agenda ahead of next year’s election.
Though both the governors and lawmakers agreed that a more notable politician who understands northern interest and power game should be anointed for the seat, they however disagreed on who takes the lead in the search for consensus candidate for the job.
A source, however, alleged that a few of the governors from the north, including the president’s in-law, have refused to support the bid.
The northern senator’s caucus in a move that may have finally pulled the rug off the feet of the ailing president was said to have raised a high powered team headed by a north-east senator to lead the search for Yar’Adua’s replacement.
The caucus also raised another team to commence high level negotiation with the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on the “place of the north in the scheme of things.”
Another committee to discuss the recent uprising in Jos, Plateau State capital, was also set up by the caucus on Wednesday in Abuja.
The committee headed by Senator Jubril Aminu is to engage the various stakeholders in the state in frantic discussion aimed at bringing a lasting peace in Jos.
The source alleged that recent declaration by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) that the north will still produce the president in 2011, was said to have given further impetus to high level shopping for another presidential candidate from the north ahead of the 2011 election.
There were also fears that the Senate resolution making Dr. Goodluck Jonathan acting president may have sealed the fate of the ailing president.
“As far as we are concerned, the president is a forgone conclusion, there is no leadership vacuum again, it is left for the acting president to act,” Saturday Champion was told by a prominent figure in the Senate.
The source alleged that efforts by some close aides of the president to shield him from some key northern leaders, including some principal officers of the Senate from the north, are not helping matters.
A key member of the caucus told Saturday Champion that the new team was to first articulate the interest of the north, including certain appointments and present same at a planned meeting with the Acting President.
According to him, the caucus will, this week, step up its activities in line with its resolve to project the interest of the north in the present arrangement.
“We have been keeping quiet all this while, because the president is our son, but now that Jonathan is made acting president, we are going to negotiate with him for our continued support,” the source said.
He insisted that it would not be in the interest of the north to allow most of the governors, who were used by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to impose Yar’Adua on the north, to negotiate for the geopolitical zone again.
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