There are emerging indications that south-south governors are divided in their support for the perceived aspiration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan to return to Aso Rock as Nigeria’s president.
TNN learnt that some of the governors are not favourably disposed to supporting Jonathan because of their ambition to become vice president. The source said the governors in this category would prefer to support an aspirant of northern extraction.
While the governors of Akwa Ibom, Delta and Edo and Bayelsa are believed to be supportive of the aspiration of Jonathan, their counterparts in Rivers and Cross River are said to be on the opposite end.
The governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, according to the source, is in support of and would want Jonathan to return as president. A sensitization group is already at work, talking to and mobilizing people to see reasons why they should work towards realizing a Jonathan return ticket.
Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State, though an ally of the former president, is said to be nursing the ambition to become vice to a northern presidential aspirant and would therefore not be supportive of Jonathan if he decides to throw himself into the ring.
Our source however said that even though Douye Diri, the governor of Bayelsa State is supportive of Jonathan’s perceived ambition, he was yet to show commitment in the area of funding. The source said it was expected that as the governor of the former president’s home state, it was expected that he would do more than merely supporting the aspiration.
He said “People like Udom and his counterparts from Edo and Delta are for Jonathan. Douye Diri is also supportive. But we expect that he would carry the project on his head and do much more than his other colleagues. People are still talking with him on the modalities but he has shown that we can count on him.”
Only on Tuesday, some elders and royal fathers from the Ekpeye axis of Rivers State visited Wike on what was described as a solidarity visit and encouraged him to seek a higher office in 2023, since he has done well as governor.
His media assistant, Kelvin Ebiri did not take our call when we tried to reach him for comments on the issue on Wednesday.
In Cross River, although Ayade is not known to have taken any step in the direction of aspiring to become a vice president, TNN learnt that some groups from some parts of the country have been approaching him to encourage him along that line.
But his media aide, Christian Ita said he was not aware of any of such moves. He said his boss was more interested in how to serve his people based on his current mandate.
TNN learnt that Jonathan is very close to making up his mind to contest the 2023 presidential election. But it was learnt that he would not want to go into a fight with President Muhammadu Buhari’s men on the issue. Jonathan, the source noted, would want a commitment from Buhari first, before taking serious steps.