Secret Meetings With OBJ : Jonathan, 4 northern govs play hide and seek

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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 at the PDP convention.

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.

President Jonathan during his condolence visit to the Abatis in Abeokuta, yesterday.

When asked  about  his mission to Obasanjo’s house, the President said: “Of course, you know that Reuben’s house and Obasanjo’s house are just  about 10 minutes drive to each other. It would not be proper if I’m coming to Ogun State to see Reuben who is just at Obasanjo’s backyard and I would not  stop over to greet him (Obasanjo).

“ Even if he hears that, they would think that  I, as Obasanjo’s son, and my father (as he is)probably have some
differences. So, I said that before coming to greet the family, let us stop over and greet Obasanjo and we did that. We stopped over there.

“Even our helicopters are there in the Government House, we drove down here,” Jonathan said.
In his remarks on the death of Abati’s mother, the President said, “The death of Madam Maria Taiwo Abati touches all of us and we must collectively play our role. Since we were unable to be here for the church  programme, we said
that this morning we have to be here”.

The President continued: “We must come and greet our brothers and sisters to express our condolence and to encourage the family. Those of us who are Christians, the Bible says that we are supposed to live three scores and 10. So any number of years above that three scores and 10 is a blessing.

“ So, for her to have lived to that ripe age, her departure should be celebrated and not mourned. So, our being here is to encourage them and to reassure the family that we are together and we’ll continue to be together”.

Addressing  newsmen after Jonathan left  his house, Abati disclosed that he did not expect the President to come in person following his financial assistance towards his mother’s  funeral  ceremony.

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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