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Published On: Tue, Jul 22nd, 2014

2015: PDP strategizes as 12 govs gun for Senate

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pdp logoBy Ali Abare Abubakar with agency report

Ahead of the 2015 general election, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has set in motion a strategy to screen 12 of the party’s second term governors said to be gunning for the senate.

It was gathered that a committee of elders, who constantly advised the PDP, had taken up the issue of screening who among the governors should be advised to take up other roles rather than seek to contest senatorial seats.

No fewer than 12 second term governors of the PDP, who will round off their terms of office on May 29, 2015, were said to be eyeing seats in the Nigerian upper legislative chamber.

The governors are Godswill Akpabio of  Akwa Ibom; Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta; Theodore Orji of Abia; Gabriel Suswam of Benue; Mua’zu Babangida Aliyu of Niger and the governor of Bauchi State, Mallam Isa Yuguda.

Others are Liyel Imoke of Cross Rivers; Sullivan Chime of Enugu; Martin Elechi of Ebonyi; Jonah Jang of Plateau; Ibrahim Shema of Katsina  and Saidu Dakingari of Kebbi State.

One of the elders disclosed to journalists that the party was looking forward to a win-win situation in the states, since according to him, a crisis of confidence is already emerging in states, where the governors are seeking to displace some incumbent senators.

Already, there are reports of an intense battle brewing between Governor Suswam and incumbent senator representing Benue North-East, Barnabas Gemade, with the latter seeking to replace the former PDP national chairman in the senate come 2015.

The same scenario is building up between Governor Chime and the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, as well as Governor Uduaghan and Senator James Manager over Delta Central senatorial seat.

It was also gathered that the leaders had resolved to examine the capabilities of individuals and who could give the PDP comparative advantage in the different situations.

For instance, one of the elders told the media that where a principal officer of the senate, who is deemed to have remained loyal to the party, is to be displaced by a governor, the governor would be told to look elsewhere, as the party stood to benefit by retaining experienced hands in the legislature.

A source, however, said besides retaining experienced hands in the legislature, there was the need for the party to also check the growing number of governors in the Senate.

The current senate has 10 former governors in its fold, including Senator Bukola Saraki (Kwara), George Akume (Benue); Kabiru Gaya (Kano), Shaba Lafiagi (Kwara), Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa), Joshua Dariye (Plateau), Chris Ngige (Anambra), Bukar Abba Ibrahim (Yobe) and Ahmad Rufai Sani Yerima (Zamfara).

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