- The age factor
Further details emerged at the weekend as to the factors that informed the decision of top bigwigs of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to betray President Goodluck Jonathan at the just-concluded March 28 presidential election.
Insiders in the party said at the weekend that the “age factor” played a major role in forcing a number of the top echelons of the party to drop their guards at critical points and in some cases allow some untoward things happen to the votes.
A source described the “age factor” as the age-related campaign mounted by the PDP in a bid to checkmate president-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.
It was learnt that in a bid to draw attention to the fact that a 73-year-old should not be allowed to preside over Nigeria’s affairs, the PDP went too far and in the process forced its chieftains into believing that there would be no hope of being allowed to contest the presidential election in 2019.
According to sources within the party, constant references to the fact that the PDP believes in the younger generation and that it would ensure that those to take over from Jonathan would be younger than him alienated a number of chieftains who immediately lost interest in mounting a vociferous campaign.
A source stated that President Jonathan himself played into the hands of those who betrayed him when he repeatedly mentioned the age factor and the role age would play in determining his successor in 2019, if he succeeds in winning the 2015 election.
According to the calculations, President Jonathan’s declaration would automatically disqualify the like of Vice-President Namadi Sambo; Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido; Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Senate President David Mark, National; Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Muazu and the Governor of Bauchi State, Isa Yuguda from the 2019 race.
It was learnt that following repeated mentioning of the age factor, the camps of many bigwigs became jittery and lukewarm towards the Jonathan campaign, thus paving the way for the All Progressives Congress(APC) candidate.Though Governor Aliyu said last week that Jonathan’s refusal to respect the single term pact he had with the governors led to PDP’s defeat, information gathered at the top hierarchy of the part have confirmed the real issues.
“I was with one of the top brass during the campaign, and I saw his countenance when the president mentioned the issue of age and suggested that the PDP would ensure the emergence of a younger successor for him if he wins the 2015 election. I recall the man was cold and that was the way it affected all other chieftains, who began to feel what would be in the offing for them if they frontally backed Jonathan to the Presidency in 2015,”a source said.
The source stated that Aliyu could not be trusted, because he was in Lagos to attend the PDP Governors’ Forum meeting a week before the election and canvassed for his re-election at the meeting.
Meanwhile, some other conspiracy theories have started trending at the weekend revealing the grand plot that knocked Jonathan out of the contest.
A document entitled: “Let them know that we know” indicated that alleged massive conspiracy that led to Jonathan’s ouster.
The document read in part: “In a gradual process, we will say things the way they were, we will speak of the conspiracy that even the closest ally of President Jonathan entered into in the dark against our people.”
The document alleged that the result from Bauchi State was at a stage reading 457,786, for APC and 559,897 for the PDP but that when the anti-Jonathan agenda was allegedly ignited, the figures changed.
It made similar allegation about Kano, indicating that the PDP had scored close to half a million votes and was closely trailing the APC before things purportedly changed.