Although some Nigeria’s political juggernauts have began jostling for the Vice President slot, President Goodluck Jonathan is still undecided, The Tide on Sunday can now reveal.
The race for the Vice President slot has been on behind the scene while Dr. Jonathan held sway as Acting President, it was intensified as soon as it was learnt that President Yar’Adua was no more, with Governors Forum and other interest groups showing interest in it.
Curiously, all the contenders for the plump political job are from the North and ardent members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) although the 1999 Constitution stipulates that the Vice President could be picked by the President from any part of the Country.
Sources at both the Presidential villa and Wadata House — the PDP National Secretariat at Wuse Zone 5, Abuja told The Tide On Sunday that virtually all the avowed ‘god fathers’ of the party, especially from the Northern Zone and some Governors of PDP controlled State have expressed interest in having their loyalists considered for the Number – Two office in the land.
These political godfathers, The Tide On Sunday learnt include some members of the PDP’S Board of Trustees (BOT), like its Chairman, former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and former Chairman, Chief Toney Anenih and contenders for the party’s 2011 presidential ticket like former military President, Geneneral Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar as well as Patrons and arrow-heads of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) like Nigeria’s former permanent representative at the United Nations, Maitama Sule – on whose desk, many believe the political equation in the North stops.
Inspite of the general interests expressed in the Vice President’s Job and on-going jostling for it, especially in the North, The Tide On Sunday was able to establish in Abuja that the front contenders for the plumb Job as at yesterday are secretary to the Government of the federation (SGF), Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, National Security Adviser to the President, Aliyu Gusau and former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai who returned to the country last week after about two years in exile.
Our Aso Rock Presidential Source said the list is by no means exhaustive as behind the scene moves were being intensified to enlist names like Senate President, Senetor David Mark, former Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu & Governor of Bauchi State, Mr. Isa Yuguda among other contenders, adding that the trio of Ahmed, Gusau and el-Rufai however seem to have an edge over others, as at yesterday.
Adducing reasons for this, our source said: “Yayale Ahmed has been loyal to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, that explains why he was retained by Jonathan although he was appointed by Yar’Adua and you know any president want a loyal deputy so Yayale is being considered based on his credential of loyalty .
Gusau is seen as an old war-horse that could be used by the government to keep the status-quo intact. He is favoured by the Presidential Advisory council charied by General Theophilus Danjuma (Rtd), on whose advice of course, he was appointed National Security Adviser.
The Military is loyal to him. This has been proved overtime, right from the days of IBB and Obasanjo in government so the thinking is that with him as Veepee, mutiny in the army would be adequately kept under check throughout Jonathan’s tenure”.
Our source continued, “For el-Rufai you know he is Obasanjo’s boy”. Infact, Obasanjo is instrumental to his home-coming, without arrest at the airport, inspite of the fact that he was declared ‘wanted’ by the EFCC and you know Jonathan was Obasanjo’s Choice for the Veepee slot in 2007 when he ran with Yar’Adua. If you know President Jonathan very well, he does not believe in biting the finger that feeds him or being disloyal to his superior officers so the calculation is that if Obasanjo comes up with superior arguments for El-Rufai, he might be considered for the Veepee slot.
Our correspondent reports that the bulk stops on President Jonathan’s desk as he is the only one empowered by the constitution to nominate his deputy and forward the name to theNational Seemblyfor screening and confirmation but this may not be without consultation with parts of the country.
Justus Awaji, Abuja
We Get Petrol At N200 Per Litre From Depots, IPMAN Cries Out
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has decried the ‘unsustainable’ price that the private depot owners sell the premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol in the country.
Speaking, yesterday, on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the Deputy National President of IPMAN, Zarama Mustapha, revealed that the private depots get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from the sole importer of the commodity, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, however, sell it for as high as N195 to N210 to independent marketers, which is not sustainable.
“Though marketers get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from NNPC depots, the company does not have enough storage facilities to cater to the needs of marketers, hence, the latter resorts to private depot owners. It is more of the issue of private depots collecting the products at the approved price and not selling to the independent marketers at a price approved by the mainstream, downstream regulatory authority.
“You cannot get a product at N195 to N200 and expect to sell it at N175,” he noted.
The IPMAN official said depot owners give excuses such as the cost of transporting the product from the mother vessel to their depots and escalation of the dollar as reasons for the price hike.
Mustapha lamented that most Lagos depots are in a chaotic situation and marketers spend three days to load refined petrol that they are not supposed to spend more than three hours to lift.
He urged the NNPC to engage depot owners to sell the product to marketers at the recommended price, saying the common man is at the receiving end.
For weeks, vehicle owners have had a tough time getting petrol from filling stations, especially in Lagos and Abuja.
Whilst many outlets are closed, the few open ones sell the indispensable commodity for as high as N250 per litre from the uniform price of N169/litre.
The supply shortage has led to long, gruelling snake-like queues at the few open filling stations as motorists and business owners jostle to buy fuel while others resort to the black market.
The situation has also worsened traffic on major roads as vehicle owners block at least one lane to join queues to filling stations.
Make Nigerian Youths Innovative, Buhari Tells Corporate Leaders
President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked leaders of corporate organisations to build the capacity of Nigerian youths to be innovative and embrace technology to make positive contributions to their organisations and the nation.
The president, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, said this at the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2022 Annual Director’s Conference (ADC), yesterday, in Lagos.
The ADC had as its theme: “Corporate Governance and Digital Transformation: Leading Purposefully for Growth and Sustainability.”
Buhari, noting that the challenges associated with corporate governance were multifaceted, stressed the need for heads of organisations to harness technology to achieve effective governance.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to providing the necessary legal support and framework to support the entrenchment of good corporate governance practices across various sectors of the economy.
Buhari also pledged his commitment to supporting the IoD by giving the institute’s chartered bill the necessary consideration to enable it to achieve its mandate.
Deputy Secretary General, United Nations, Ms Amina Mohammed, said the world was hit by a series of global crises which have affected the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Mohammed said technology and digitalisation would set the era of digital transformation in areas of health, education, agriculture and finance.
Nigeria Does Not Belong To North, Arewa Youths Tell Northern Elders
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has said that Nigeria does not belong to the North ahead of the 2023 general election.
Apparently reacting to the recent interview granted by a member of the Northern Elders Forum, Alh Sani Zango Daura, in which he called on the North to support a Northern candidate.
The AYCF, in a statement issued by its National President, Yerima Shettima, noted that supporting a southerner was clearly a demonstration of justice.
He noted that this was because Nigeria does not belong to the North alone, or Muslims and Christians of the North, insisting that “even on moral grounds, the most responsible political action by the North was the decision on powershift in 2023, because the Presidency cannot be hereditary and Nigeria is not a Banana Republic”.
Shettima further said, however, that the elder was expressing his personal opinion and not the stand of the North in general, saying that a “ little balancing was needed in position of our father Zangon Daura, more so when he admitted that the elders are mere escorts for the younger generation today”.
The AYCF noted that when 13 Northern governors led by Kaduna State Governor, Mal Nasirel-Rufai endorsed a Southern candidate for the 2023 presidency, they repeatedly cited political justice.
“Though we are not card-carrying members of the APC, we shared the view that the decision was in line with being fair to the South in 2023.
“We are aware, as well as our father ZangonDaura, that the North is respected for honouring its promises to the South and this one absolutely undeniable character of all Northerners.
“We are not known to break promises and that explains why our son, President MuhammaduBuhari never objected to the idea of a Southern presidential candidate in the ruling party. In the North, like our father ZangonDaura knows, promises are sacred and in fact a culture”.
It would be recalled that in a viral audio of AlhajiZangonDaura while addressing a group of youths, suggested that they should throw their weight behind a fellow Northerner for the presidency in 2023, citing historic and religious instances, something the AYCF said it believed was “overtaken by events, current realities, and the spirit of justice and fairness in the Nigerian project”.
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