President Goodluck Jonathan and four northern governors, yesterday, engaged in a dramatic hide and seek game of politics in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, where they did not only hold separate secret meetings with former President Olusegun Obasanjo but also avoided one another.
The drama began when Jonathan paid an unscheduled visit to his estranged godfather in his mansion on Osoba Hilltop, Abeokuta, after the four northern governors had arrived Abeokuta but, reportedly, hid in an undisclosed location apparently to avoid the President.
File photo: Obasanjo and President Jonathan, putting heads together during a PDP convention.
There has been no love lost between Jonathan and some northern governors who have been clamouring that the presidency should revert to the North in 2015 to compensate for the death of former President Umaru Musa Yar ‘Adua mid-way to his tenure in 2010 .
The President, who was on his way from Togo, arrived Abeokuta at 11:52am and, reportedly, ordered some members of his advance party to proceed to the house of his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, while he drove into Obasanjo’s expanse compound where he immediately held a closed-door meeting with the former Chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for about one and a half hours.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that Jonathan was originally billed to visit Abati in his private house at Asero
Estate in Abeokuta to commiserate with him over the death of his mother, Madam Maria Taiwo Abati, who was buried on Friday before he decided to see Obasanjo.
It was learnt that the quartet of the PDP northern governors – Murtala Nyako(Adamawa State), Alhaji. Sule Lamido(Jigawa State), Alhaji Aliu Wammako (Sokoto State) and Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano State)- were to meet with Obasanjo at about the same time but decided to delay their arrival in the former President’s residence by stopping at an undisclosed location in Abeokuta ostensibly to avoid meeting Jonathan.
The governors arrived Obasanjo’s compound minutes after Jonathan left the place around 1:25pm.
Jonathan’s mission to Obasanjo’s home was unknown ,but a source said it may not be unconnected with his purported 2015 re–election bid which the former President is reportedly opposing.
It is widely believed that Lamido is being subtly supported by the former President as the person to fly the PDP presidential ticket in the next general elections in a bid to return power to the North.
It was not also immediately known why the four northern governors visited Obasanjo and the content of the secret meeting , but when they emerged about an hour later, Nyako told reporters that they were in Abeokuta for “consultation” with the former President on “very important matters.”
Nyako said, “We have come to greet the most accomplished Nigerian ever and would remain so for a very long time and to consult with him on very important matters.”
Meanwhile, Jonathan arrived Abati’s house at 1: 43 pm, and went into a closed-door meeting with the family and later addressed newsmen on what took him to Abeokuta.
President Jonathan during his condolence visit to the Abatis in Abeokuta, yesterday.