Sunday, 9 March 2008


The Nigerian President, Mr. Umaru Yar'Adua whose election in April,2007 was recently validated by the Presidential election petition tribunal, yesterday afternoon(08/03/2008) at the eagle square Abuja, during the emergency national convention of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP)upstaged the immediate past President, Rtd. General Olusegun Obasanjo, who is also the Party's chairman of board of trustees in what observers agreed was superior political horsetrading and jerrymandering.

Rtd. General Obasanjo at the twilight of his administration, masterminded the amendment of his Party's constitution to pave way for his occupation of the position of chairman of the Party's influential board of trustees, in a move widely seen as part of his elaborate plans to control the Party's apparatus at the national level. Prior to that time, the outgoing President had chosen the current President, generally seen as weak and incapable of holding his grounds in any face-off with the swash-buckling Rtd. General as his Party's Presidential candidate for the 2007 general elections.

At the exit of former President Obasanjo from the seat of power, forces intent on snatching the machinery of the ruling party massed against him, intending to use the instrumentality of the emergency national convention to snatch the Party's national apparachik from the former President.

While these intrigues were on, the Obasanjo camp was also plotting its own intrigues, but the surprise was that the current President's camp seemed quiet and was most of the time pretending to be with the former President's camp.

We were hinted but could not independently confirm clandestine moves in the President's camp, being co-ordinated by the ever resourcesful and secretive Secreatary to the Federal Government, Mr. Babagana Kingibe, which aimed at installing the President's candidate as Chairman of the ruling Party.

We can now report that while the intrigues, horsetradings and jerrymanderings were going on, the President's camp, pretending to be with the Obasanjo camp, which had Mr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu as its main candidate, was secretly preparing Mr. Vincent Ogbulafor, a former national Secreatary of the party, who fell out with Obasanjo when the latter refused to support him in his bid to become the governor of Abia State in 2007, for the National Chairmanship position.

The Yar'Adua camp played the game closed to their chest till the last minute when the President suddenly rejected Obasanjo's plea for a consensus candidate in the person of Mr. Iwuanyanwu and subsequently used the influence of his office to pressurize the Governors, some members of the National Assembly and Federal Government Appointees to support Mr. Ogbulafor, while at the same time also pressurizing majority of the contestants to step down for his annointed candidate.

A Presidency source who spoke to us shortly after Mr. Ogbulafor was sworn in, revealed that the presidency was in celebration mood. A source very close to Obasanjo also told us that the former President was not happy at the turn of events, but has however, resolved to work with the new National Chairman.