Lamido-Amaechi 2015 Presidency backing: Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo opens up

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday cleared the air on the 2015 Presidency, saying he is more concerned about security challenges facing the nation than the 2015 general election.

The former president’s position followed speculations that he may dump President Goodluck Jonathan for Governors Sule Lamido-Rotimi Amaechi Presidential ticket.

The ex-President was also said to have made his position known to the Presidency to avert crisis of confidence between him and the President.

But there were signals yesterday that some former governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a few serving ones, especially those on second term, have begun talks on the next general election.

Obasanjo was said to have had audience with some of his associates over speculations that he may back Lamido.

He was also said to have regretted that the speculations were designed to put him at loggerheads with President Jonathan.

One of the associates, who spoke in confidence, quoted Obasanjo as saying: “I am more concerned with finding solutions to the country’s challenges of security, corruption and economy.

“I expect all those who love Nigeria should concern themselves with how to tackle these challenges rather than busying themselves with 2015.

“I am not interested in the distraction of the red herring on 2015.”

Notwithstanding Obasanjo’s position, some former PDP governors and a few ones on second term were said to have started preliminary talks on 2015.

Some of the former and serving governors are already weighing options on whether to back Jonathan’s second term or shop for an alternative candidate.

It was gathered that the governors are also considering a creation of an alternative platform if PDP is hijacked in 2015 in favour of a predetermined candidate.

A source said these governors might constitute a second force in PDP to form an alliance with politicians of like minds in other political parties.

The source said: “Some politicians and government officials may be pretending but the fact is that preliminary discussions on 2015 have started among some former and serving governors, especially those in PDP.

“Those from the North are deeply interested in power shift to the region in 2015 . I can say that informal or exploratory talks have begun.

“So, if names are being speculated, these might have come from the ongoing talks among these governors.

“Even in the presidency, there are covert plans being hatched on 2015. You do not leave your fate till the last minutes.

“Nobody can wait because the opposition is already gaining some mileage for 2015 by winning the sympathy of the people.”