Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Drama In Presidential Villa As Kwankwaso Rejects President Jonathan

Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State
There was a mild political drama at Nigeria’s Presidential Villa on Sunday night when Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State rejected the request of President Goodluck Jonathan to stand beside him as Tony Anenih, the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the People’s Democratic Party, read a communiqué at the end of their “peace” meeting.
Mr. Kwankwaso was the spokesman of a group of PDP governors who last Saturday walked out of the venue of the party’s mini-convention.

He was at Aso Rock Villa to participate in a meeting called by Mr. Jonathan to iron out differences between the president’s faction of the party and a splinter group of governors and other party members who staged the dramatic walkout.
At the end of the peace meeting, which was attended by 16 governors, Mr. Anenih was mandated to speak

with reporters as Mr. Jonathan and his deputy, Namadi Sambo, were reduced to spectators. A presidential source revealed that President Jonathan had beckoned on Kwankwaso to stand beside him, but the Kano State governor refused. “When Mr. President beckoned to Alhaji Kwankwaso to stand by his side as Chief Anenih read out the communiqué, the governor raised his finger and shook it several times. He then headed to the side of Chief Anenih,” said the source. He added that Mr. Jonathan, though clearly miffed, flashed a pained smile.

It wass learnt that Mr. Jonathan first met behind closed doors with former President Olusegun Obasanjo for close to two hours in the private residence of the president, and then met with 16 PDP governors, including four of the group that walked away from the mini-convention. The splinter group, led by former Vice President Abubakar Atiku, subsequently met at the Musa Yar’Adua Convention Center in Abuja and announced the formation of the “New PDP.” The rebellious governors include Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa, and Abdulfatai Ahmed of Kwara State.

Mr. Anenih read the communiqué flanked by President Jonathan on the right and Governor Kwankwaso on the left, with other governors behind them. The chairman of the fractious party’s board of trustees stated that “the leadership of the party and the PDP governors met today to discuss the incident that occurred during the PDP special convention on the 31st of August 2013, whereby some state delegations walked out of the convention ground to announce a faction of the party.” He added: “The meeting was smooth and encouraging and the discussions will continue on Tuesday with all the aggrieved governors in attendance.”