There are indications that a succession battle is raging between governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking automatic tickets to contest the senatorial slots in their various states on the platform of the party against serving Senators nursing the ambition of seeking re-election.
The PDP governors seeking automatic tickets to contest the Senatorial slots in their various states on the platform of the party, it appears, may have to fulfill certain conditions before being allowed to do so.
It was gathered that a secret meeting convened by the party’s National Chairman, Dr. Adamu Mu’azu, in his private residence in Abuja on Wednesday, failed to provide consensus on the vexed issue of endorsement and automatic tickets for those governors who have served out their terms but were eyeing the Senate.
A top member of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), who was part of the meeting, disclosed that the party is in dilemma on how to resolve the expected disaffection expected to be generated by the insistence of the governors among loyal party members who are serving Senators with the ambition of seeking re-election.
It was learnt that while some serving Senators are willing to yield their position for the governors eyeing their positions, they are in return demanding that they be considered as replacement for the governors in their state.
The request of the Senators, according to the source, who craved anonymity because he was not mandated to divulge information to the public, has thrown spanners in the works of the governors who have already adopted their successors.
With this development, the source disclosed that the PDP leadership has resolved to deprive the governors with senatorial ambition the privilege of anointing their successors in office in return for the automatic ticket for the Senate.
This decision, the source said, would be communicated to the governors at another meeting scheduled to hold between the party’s leadership and the affected governors by the weekend in Abuja.
The source said the party would have preferred to return some of the serving Senators willing to seek reelection so that they could deploy their experience in the 8th Senate with a view to stabilizing the PDP Presidency beyond 2015.
“The truth is that the pressure has always been there since the issue of the president’s endorsement was concluded at our last NEC meeting; it has taken a very dangerous dimension because of our desire to strengthen our National Assembly, especially the Senate, so that the polity could benefit from their wealth of experience but the governors and their desire to all go to the Senate is setting a big constraint on our desire for this.
“While we believe that the governors are our field commanders, we cannot say in the same breath that our Senators are no more useful and should be discarded; so we have outlined some acceptable conditions that will guide both the governors and the senators, because especially the governors, they cannot have everything to themselves without consideration for others.
“We are going to tell them politely that if a governor wishes to go to the Senate, fine; but such cannot be the one to anoint a successor, and if at all, let the Senator any governor wishes to replace also take the governorship slot,” the source said.
No PDP official could be reached for comments.
It was also learnt that a certain governor from the South-south region clashed with a Senator from his state before President Goodluck Jonathan recently, when he urged the President to find a federal appointment for the Senator and the lawmaker insisted that his condition to relinquish his position would be that he replaced the governor in 2015.
Those governors working tirelessly to get endorsement for the Senate include Enugu state governor, Sullivan Chime seeking to replace Senate Deputy President, Ike Ekweremadu; Ebonyi state governor, Chief Martin Elechi, seeking to replace Senator Chris Nwankwo.