The Peoples Democratic Party on Saturday said it shelved the election of a new chairman for its Board of Trustees on Friday to allow for wider consultation.
Spokesperson for the party, Olisa Metuh, also said, in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES, that the BOT meeting was also postponed to enable those who interested in vying for the position make formal declaration.
“We are making it formal now, so that a comprehensive list of those interested will be known by next week,” he said.
Sources at the presidential villa, venue of the meeting, however said the meeting was called off after President Jonathan received political intelligence that his preferred candidate, Tony Anenih, might be defeated.
“The presidency sensed the mood of members and realised that the President’s candidate may lose and so they promptly advised for a postponement to enable the president do his home work well,” the source said.
PREMIUM TIMES also gathered that Presidency officials last night realised that former President Olusegun Obasanjo still has enormous influence within the membership of the BOT in spite of his resignation three months ago and his absence at last night’s meeting.
“It became apparent that even though Baba is in Ghana, he controls the BOT ‘affairs’ within the villa, so if the election was held yesterday, the President would have been embarrassed,” added our source.
So far, a former chairman of the party’s BOT, Tony Anenih, believed to have the backing of President Jonathan and a former national chairman, Ahmadu Ali, backed by ex-President Obasanjo are the front runners for the top post.
However, Mr. Metuh assertion that more candidates would be given room to declare their intent to run is an indication that there might be a ploy by the president to throw up a third candidate who could be used to neutralise Mr. Obasanjo’s influence in the BOT.
Those in the know said the battle for the chairmanship of the BOT is the first major political battle between Messrs Jonathan and Obasanjo ahead the 2015 elections.