Jonathan, Obasanjo friction worries PDP

By IndepthAfrica
In Nigeria
Dec 3rd, 2012
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There are indications that the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party is not comfortable with the cold war between President Goodluck Jonathan and former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

A member of the National Working Committee of the party, who spoke with journalists in Abuja on Sunday, said the party was worried about the increasing animosity between the two senior members of the party.

Obasanjo, until April 2012 when he resigned, was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the party.

He recently inferred that Jonathan might be a weak leader because of the way he had been handling the security challenges and corruption in the country.

Jonathan however used the occasion of his Media Chat to respond to Obasanjo’s tirade, saying the invasion of Odi during Obasanjo’s Presidency did not solve the problem of militancy in the Niger Delta.

But a member of the National Working Committee of the party, who spoke with reporters in Abuja on condition of anonymity, said it would be wrong for the President to take on Obasanjo.

He said the former President might have his faults, but that Jonathan must tread softly because of the personality of the two time-President, who was also a former Head of State.

He said Jonathan might have been wrongly advised to take on Obasanjo, who he described as the President’s benefactor.

The PDP NWC member said, “We are concerned about this feud between the President and former President Obasanjo.

“The President must watch it. It is dangerous for him to take on this man, who is very close to the northern oligarchy.

“Jonathan should rather speak with him as a father because of his second term ambition. This is not the time to start fighting people like Obasanjo.

“The President is not popular in majority of the states in the North and South-West.”

The NWC member said Jonathan must remember that it was Obasanjo who appealed to the members of the party, especially from the northern part of the country, when Jonathan picked the party’s presidential ticket at the Eagles Square.

However, both the National Secretary of the PDP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, said there was no rift between Jonathan and Obasanjo.

Oyinlola said, “The issue of Odi killings will not cause hostility between the two leaders of our party,” while Metuh said both leaders were “working together towards deepening democracy in Nigeria”.

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