2015: Governor Aliyu of Niger cautions PDP not to push governors out of party

The governor said none of the PDP governors plan to leave Nigeria’s ruling party.

The Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, has cautioned the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, not to chase the governors out of the party.

Mr. Aliyu and some of the PDP governors have been on a collision course with President Goodluck Jonathan over the president’s re-election plan for 2015.

The Niger State Governor had stated publicly that Mr. Jonathan promised the governors prior to the 2011 elections that he would not contest the 2015 elections. The presidency has denied the claims.

Mr. Aliyu has however cautioned the party not to force the governors out.

“I believe that the party (PDP) will also not push us away,” the governor told a delegation of the PDP Board of Trustees, led by its Chairman, Tony Anenih, at the Government House, Minna, on Wednesday.

Mr. Aliyu has not hidden his intention to vie for the 2015 presidential election.

The seeming crisis between some of the governors and the presidency is believed to have led to the formation of the PDP Governors Forum with a governor, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, loyal to Mr. Jonathan as Chairman. The Forum is believed to be a plot to weaken the influence of Rotimi Amaechi, the Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, who is believed to be opposed to the president’s plans.

Mr. Aliyu, however, said none of the PDP governors’ plans to dump the party.

“I believe I am speaking the minds of majority of us, none of us will jump the gun. I heard a lot of stories that is what people are looking for, that some PDP governors may jump the gun, I do not think so,” he said.

He welcomed the party’s move to correct the problems that had surfaced in the party by discussing with stakeholders, saying “we discover that there are some problems, we want to correct it.”

Mr. Aliyu said that “no matter the noise out there in the media, the PDP remains the party for some time to come”, assuring the delegation that the state would remain a PDP state.

Mr. Anenih expressed confidence that the meeting would be fruitful and beneficial to all; but said the presidential ticket of the party for the 2015 election was not for discussion.

He said the presidency of the country was a strategic issue and that enough consultations would be made.



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