As the momentum towards the February 2015 presidential election picks up speed, the Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, has begun subtle moves to challenge President Goodluck Jonathan for the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the party's presidential primary to be held later in the year.
Accordingly, Nigerians have been inaundated with campaigns by the supporters of Jonathan and Lamido, which have been depicted in electronic format and as newspaper advertisements and have focused on the various achievements of both men.
Typically, the advertisements in favour of the president, usually list his achievements in the various sectors including agriculture, education, aviation, health and road networks, among other sectors, and are signed off by the Transformation Agenda of Nigeria (TAN).
TAN’s advertisements draw parallels with United States’ President Barack Obama, former South Africa n President, late Nelson Mandela and how the former Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, transformed their countries, concluding that Jonathan is carrying out the same transformation in Nigeria.
Similarly, Lamido’s campaigners have been airing a 30-minute documentary of how Obama and Mandela transformed their countries through purposeful, focused and qualitative leadership, concluding that Lamido is doing the same in Jigawa State.
In the 30-minute documentary, Lamido’s campaigners interjected it with quotes from Mandela and former Nigeria’s Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, who expressed satisfaction with the transformation of Jigawa State.
THISDAY gathered that the advertorials by the supporters of the president and Lamido are just a window rehearsal for the presidential primary as both of them prepare to square off to secure the PDP ticket.
Jonathan is yet to declare his intention to seek a second term in office, while Lamido is still serving out his second term as the governor of Jigawa.
Presidency sources said there are growing fears over Lamido’s ambition, and are concerned that a keen contest at the primary could block the president’s chance of securing an automatic ticket.
At the just concluded National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the PDP, the president and Lamido, PDP sources informed THISDAY, sat almost directly opposite each other and avoided eye contact.