There are indications that the crisis of confidence between President Goodluck Jonathan and his deputy, Vice President Namadi Sambo, may be getting worse by the day, even as some northern governors are now angling to replace the latter in 2015, should current plans by the president to re-contest stand.
This notwithstanding, the umbrella body for northern interest groups, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), which is aware of the development, has warned that the vice president should not be subjected to any unfair treatment over any suspicion or political agenda.
Saturday Sun gathered that long before the recent Kaduna meeting between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Sambo, which raised the political temperature in the Presidential Villa, the vice president has been having it rough due to suspicion that he may not support the return of Jonathan in 2015.
A highly placed source in the know disclosed: “The doubts over Sambo’s loyalty and commitment to the 2015 project led to a frosty relationship between him and the president. This has, to a large extent, affected the communication between the duo, official communication not exempted.
“An instance to buttress this is a situation where the vice president has told governors and others, who should direct certain letters to him on issues he should superintend over, to write directly to the president, rather than taking up such issues with the president for approval. Some of the governors who have had their memos returned can confirm this.
“The VP has learnt to do this because his advice or recommendations on issues are largely treated with suspicion, kept in view or totally ignored.”
As a result of the worsening rapport between the two most senior public office holders in the country, the vice president has, in the past six months, avoided speaking with friends, associates and some northern leaders on the telephone after some state agents loyal to him hinted that sophisticated monitoring equipment have been brought into the country and deployed within security and political circles.
“The VP will rather hold face to face discussions with his own people these days than having telephone conversations that can be twisted and misrepresented by overzealous security agents,” the source added.
With the obvious crack in the presidency, another source revealed that a popular northern governor serving his last term in office and a former governor also from the region have been plotting to replace the incumbent vice president.
“One of those betraying our people by working hard to take Sambo’s place is a serving governor from North Central and a former governor from North East. They have both shown interest in the seat when President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua died and are still interested in the 2015 presidential race whether as presidential or vice presidential candidate”, the source added.
– The Sun