- Last Updated on 13 February 2013
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Despite official denials, there are strong indications that the merger of opposition political parties that gave birth to the All Progressives Congress (APC) is causing considerable anxiety within Aso Rock to the extent that President Goodluck has ordered covert operations to sabotage the move, Huhuonline.com has learnt from impeccable sources inside the Presidency.
The formation of the APC by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the Congress for Progressive Congress (CPC) and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has radically altered the political landscape, forcing Jonathan and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rethink his chances in the 2015 presidential election.
The President, sources tell Huhuonline.com is averse to the scenario of facing a consolidated rival party at the polls and has designated Vice President Namadi Sambo to do the Yeoman’s job of undermining any such merger of opposition parties that will give Jonathan and the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) party a run for their money come 2015. Already, Sambo has gone to work, pulling the strings behind the scenes to derail the participation of the ANPP. The Presidency has also infiltrated fillers to make sure the APGA does not join the merger as part of the grand strategy to undermine the APC.
Aso Rock insiders confided to Huhuonline.com that Jonathan has been having white nights since the APC was announced and his discomfiture was evident is his body language when he stood side-by-side with Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (ANPP chairman) at an event to flag off of the nation's centenary celebration last Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Keen observers noticed that Jonathan looked rattled and unsettled, even brushing former President Olusegun Obasanjo aside as he held Buhari’s hand to go and light the centenary flame.
The President publicly gave kudos to Buhari on Wednesday for finding time, and eschewing partisan politics, to attend the centenary launch, but sources told Huhuonline.com that beyond that public façade of statesmanship, Jonathan is very angry and bitter and has asked his close advisers to work out the best case scenario that will guarantee him victory, in the likely eventuality that he has to face a united opposition candidate in 2015.
A source in the presidency told Huhuonline.com that Jonathan has assigned the Vice President to chair a team of election wonks who have the onerous task of a ensuring the President’s re-election. Sambo and his team are said to be fine-tuning a strategy based on Jonathan winning the Presidency if he wins the South-south, South-east and North-central zones. Presidential sources told Huhuonline.com that with the look of things, the stronghold of the APC would be concentrated in the South-west states of Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Oyo, as Ondo State will back Jonathan. The PDP is fancying its chances that it will at least score 25% in the South-west states and more than 60% in Ondo State.
In the same line of permutation, the source said the PDP is also calculating that it will win more than 60% in all South-south states, including Edo State because of the personal relationship between Gov. Adams Oshiolmhole, and Jonathan, which accounted for the ACN victory in the last gubernatorial poll in the state. The presidency said Jonathan would win all the South-east states including Anambra State, despite its being in control of the APGA. The PDP claims a majority in the State Assembly with two of the three senators being PDP members, arguing that Governor Peter Obi cannot conduct local government elections in the state afraid that the PDP will win all the seats.
“Apart from this, Obi is a member of the PDP at night and also a member of the President’s economic team. So the state is for the PDP anytime,” the source said adding: “the PDP is in perfect control of Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia and even Imo State.”
In the North-west, the source said the PDP will encounter problems in Sokoto and Kebbi, but will still get over 25% of the votes cast. According to the source, “PDP will get more than 30% in Jigawa State, if Sule Lamido decamps to the APC, but if he remains in the party, the state remains a PDP state. The same will happen in Kaduna State which will be delivered by the Vice President for President Jonathan.
“We may encounter some problems in Adamawa and Taraba States, but Bauchi, Gombe, Borno and Yobe will give the PDP at least, over 50%. The PDP will win big in the North-central states of Benue, Plateau, Kogi and Kwara. The only problem is Niger and Nasarawa States. Nasarawa State is under the CPC, but the majority of the state House of Assembly members are PDP,” the source said.
According to the source, “like Jigawa, if the Niger State governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, stays in the PDP, the state will vote PDP, but if he joins the APC, it goes the other way. The governors of Kwara, Kogi and Plateau States will ensure that PDP carries the day.” The source explained that by and large, PDP will still carry the day, but all these plans are contingent on President Jonathan contesting for the presidency.