All the 13 outgoing governors of the Peoples Democratic Party have rejected their deputies as their successors, investigations have revealed.
The governors are those of Abia (Theodore Orji), Akwa Ibom(Godswill Akpabio), Bauchi (Isa Yuguda), Benue (Gabriel Suswam ), Cross River (Liyel Imoke), Delta (Emmanuel Uduaghan) and Enugu (Sulivan Chime).
Others are Jigawa (Sule Lamido), Katsina (Ibrahim Shema), Kebbi (Usman Dakingari), Niger (Babangia Aliyu), Ebonyi (Martin Elechi) and Plateau (Jonah Jang).
With the defection of the governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, from the Labour Party to the PDP, the party is in control of 21 states out of the 36 in the country.
The party also won the last governorship election in Ekiti State.
However, the tenure of some of the governors like those of Bayelsa, Kogi, Gombe, Ekiti and Ondo states will not be coming to end in 2015.
Governor of Kaduna State, Ramalan Yero, succeeded the late Governor of the state, Mr. Patrick Yakowa and is asking for a fresh mandate in 2015.
In Taraba State, where Governor Danbaba Suntai, has been out of state functions since September 2012 following the crash of the small plane he piloted, but his loyalists are also up in arms against the acting governor of the state, Mr. Garba Umar, who is contesting for the party’s nomination ticket.
Instead of their deputies, investigations by our correspondent showed that some of the governors had been rooting for their cronies like their Chiefs of Staff, ex-commissioners and secretary to the state governments.
For example, Jang of Plateau is said to be rooting for his one-time Chief of Staff, Sen. Gyang Pwajok while Aliyu of Niger State is also backing his former CoS, Umar Nasko.
It was also learnt that Lamido of Jigawa State is mobilising for his immediate CoS, Aliyu Ringin while Akpabio has not hidden his desire to handover to his former SSG, Mr Emmanuel Udom.
Chief Tony Obuh is also said to be the favourite of Uduaghan as his successor, while Yuguda is backing the candidature of his erstwhile SSG, Alhaji Adamu Alkali, as successor. Obuh, from the Ika South council area of Delta is a retired permanent secretary in the Government House.
Also in Katsina State, Shema abandoned his deputy and asked Alhaji Musa Nashuni to pick form for the governorship race. Nashuni had said that he was in the race to complete the programmes of Shema.
“The governor asked me to contest for the governorship election,” Nashuni stated on Saturday when he was at the PDP headquarters to pick his nomination form.
However, few of the deputy governors have refused to be cowed by their principals’ endorsement of other persons and have obtained the governorship nomination forms.
The deputy governors that have obtained the governorship nomination forms of the PDP include Steve Lawani of Benue, Musa Ibeto of Niger, and Prof. Amos Utuama of Delta.
Speaking with our correspondent, Lawani said he had consulted with Suswam and that he was sure of winning the party’s ticket.
“I have worked very closely with Governor Suswam. I am not a lunatic to have engaged in the race without consulting him. I have received his nod,” he said.
According to him, the people of the state will be safer in his hands.
“I have served the state and I know the in-and-out and I believe I am the right person to govern the state,” he added.
On his part, the deputy governor of Niger State said Aliyu was not in a position to determine if he (Ibeto) would succeed him or not.
Ibeto insisted that the people of the state would determine their next governor.
He said, “Let me say that I do not think that it is by design that governors do not hand over to their deputies. Let me also tell you that there is remarkable difference between 1999 and 2014. You see our democracy has matured to the extent that people determine who succeeds someone in office and not really an individual.
“I believe that as a democrat, I am presenting myself first and foremost to the electoral college of my party, that is the state congress, and I assure you that I will emerge victorious.
“So in that case it is not the governor that will determines whether I will succeed him or not, but the general electoral body in the state.”