— Nnamani, Obi on the list
Ahead of the 2015 general elections and the desire of President Goodluck Jonathan to strengthen his cabinet, there is a strong move to replace the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim.
Blueprint reliably gathered that already various contending forces and power blocs in the South-east geo-political zone are jostling for the position.
However, it was learnt that the president and his team are favourably disposed to pick either former Senate President Ken Nnamani or the immediate past Governor Peter Obi of Anambra state.
Those promoting Nnamani hinged their stand on his strength of character and huge network both within and outside the geo-political zone.
The source said: “Ken Nnamani is considered as a loyal party man, who has network and political clout beyond the South-east zone. And you know President Jonathan is concerned about who can deliver in 2015. It is all politics.”
Conversely, Obi, who recently completed his second term as governor on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), is seen as the most acceptable candidate within the president’s inner circle.
The source revealed to our correspondent that Obi is more favoured considering his consistent support for Jonathan, dating back to his days as acting president.
“You know Peter Obi has been a loyal supporter of President Goodluck Jonathan since he was appointed acting president. Even though he is in APGA, he always delivered Anambra state to President Jonathan. He did that in 2011 and is expected to do same in 2015.
“The thinking of the president’s team is that Obi can galvanize support for Jonathan in 2015. Being the only governor of APGA, a party that has sympathy of the Igbos, the president’s team sees Obi as a rallying point politically, ” the source added.
Explaining further, the source said: “Obi is a member of the economic management team and honorary adviser to President Jonathan. He is also expected to bring his sense of fairness to bear on his responsibility as SGF. He is prudent as shown in his eight-year tenure in Anambra state.”
Our reporter gathered that there have been allegations of favouritism leveled against the current SGF.
“He is seen as someone who is not very fair in the discharge of his responsibilities as SGF. Specifically, he is said to be favourably disposed to filling all vacant headship of parastatals with his kinsmen without recourse to the principle of federal character,” the source added.
One other issue, which is considered as a minus to Anyim as SGF, is his alleged uneasy relationship with the incumbent governor of his state, Martin Elechi. This, it was gathered, has caused the present crisis in his village, with several indigenes going on exile.
“Like Anyim did when he was Senate President, he is using his office as SGF to fight the incumbent governor of his state. This is one fight President Jonathan cannot afford. He is yet to recover from the effect of the fight between him and G7 Governors, ” said the source.
Born on February 19, 1961, Anyim, who was appointed SGF in May 2011, was elected as Senate President from 1999 to 2007.
Elected on the PDP platform from Ebonyi state, he was both a victim and beneficiary of the power play between the executive and the legislature under the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, when the South-east geo-political zone, where the Senate president position was zoned to, produced five Senate presidents in eight years. These were Senator Evan Enwerem, 1999-1999; Senator Chuba Okadigbo 1999- 2000; Anyim Pius Anyim, 2000-2003; Senator Adolphus Wabara, 2003 to 2005, and Senator Ken Nnamani, 2005 to 2007.
As Senate President, Anyim fought the sitting governor of Ebonyi state, Samuel Ominyi Egwu, to a standstill and Anyim’s village boiled. The conflict between the duo was so primitive that on a particularly low point, Anyim’s mock coffin was paraded around Abakaliki, the state capital.
Anyim was a candidate in the elections for chairmanship of the PDP in January 2008.In January 2010, he led a delegation of 41 eminent Nigerians that called on President Umaru Yar’Adua to urgently transmit a letter of his incapacitation to the National Assembly to salvage the nation’s democracy from danger. He praised the Senate when they passed a resolution on February 9, 2010 to make the then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan Acting President.