8th December, 2010
In another of his maradonic moves,Â former military President Ibrahim Babangida has perfected plans to dump the consensus arrangement which produced ex-vice President Atiku AbubakarÂ to enable him realize his 2011 presidential ambition on the platform of another political party, PM NEWS gathered this morning.
According to sources, the desire of Babangida to back out of the consensus arrangement is behind the letter he wrote to the NationalÂ Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP this morning in which he threatened to quit the party unless it adheres to principle of zoning. Babangida, had in the letter asked PDP to enforce the judgement of an Abuja High Court last week which recognizes that zoning was recognized in the constitution of PDP.
It will be recalled that Justice Lawal Gumi, the Chief Judge of Federal Capital Territory High Court had last Monday ruled in a suit instituted by one Aminu Dutsinma, that though the zoning was included in the PDP constitution, it is not legally enforceable.
The judge ruled that zoning is a PDP affair which can only be enforced by the party. The Judge had based his decision on section 7.2 (c ) of PDP constitution which stipulates that the party â€œshall adhere to the policy of rotation and zoning of party and public elected offices and it shall be enforced by appropriate executive committee at all levelsâ€.
The leadership of PDP had in its reaction said the judgment was in line with the earlier decision of its National Executive Committee,Â NEC to maintain the principle of zoning, but to allow President Goodluck Jonathan contested the presidency of the party.
But in a letter to the PDP Chairman yesterday, Babangida said he will quit the party, except the party enforced the principle of zoning and consequently forced Jonathan to withdraw for the 2011 presidential race.
â€œIf the party has become so helpless in the face of its own constitution and its highest elected representatives, then many of us shall have no alternative to reconsider our continued membership of the partyâ€, Babangida said in the letter.
PM NEWS however gathered that Babangida, through the letter may be seeking a honourable way of dumping the consensus arrangement so that he can go on to actualize his presidential ambition on the platform of another party.
It can be recalled that many key aides and long term associates of Babangida had continue to express reservations over the choice of Atiku as the consensus candidate of the Adamu Ciroma led Northern Political Leaders Forum, NPLF.
Senator Kanti Bello, Deputy Director General of the IBB Campaign Organisation had told a foreign radio station that if Babangida had known that Atiku will be the choice of the Ciroma Committee he would not have committed himself to the consensus arrangement.
Supporters of Babangida had consequently mounted pressure on him to dump the PDP for another party so that he can realize his presidential ambition.
Babangida has also been linked to the All Nigeriaâ€™s People Party, ANPP and Nigeria Democratic Party, NDP. Sources told PM NEWS that Babangida know that there is no way the Nwodo led PDP will stop Jonathan from contesting.
â€œHe is just up to another of his maradonic moves. Is he just waking up nowâ€, the source who noted that Babangida had recently told his supporters that he will â€œreboundâ€, said.Â According to him, Babangida may have made up his mind to decamp to the ANPPÂ where the ticket is being reserved for him and dump Atiku.