Northern Governors Launch Smear Attack On Jonathan For Refusing To Zone 2015 Presidency To Their Region
The mystery over President Goodluck Jonathan’s alleged agreement with northern governors of Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, not to present himself as a candidate in the 2015 presidential elections intensified on Sunday.
It was learnt that Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, who is also the chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum who revealed the secret agreement could not be reached be reached for him to shed more light on the nature of the agreement as he had decided to shut himself from further commenting on the issue. He also gagged his close associates and top aides from speaking on the matter. It was also learnt that his revealing it was not just of his own accord, but a decision of the Northern Governors’ Forum.
In a radio interview on Saturday, Governor Aliyu laid bare the claim that President Jonathan had agreed not to contest the 2015 presidential election.
He said: “I recall that at the time he was going to declare for the 2011 election, all PDP governors were brought together to ensure that we were all in the same frame of mind.
“And I recall that some of us said that, given the circumstances of the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua and given the PDP zoning arrangement, it was expected that the North was to produce the president for a given number of years.
“I recall that at that discussion, it was agreed that Jonathan would serve only one term of four years and we all signed the agreement. Even when Jonathan went to Kampala, in Uganda, he also said he was going to serve a single term.”
Alhaji Tanko Yakassi, one of the leading members of the Northern Political Leaders Forum, NPLF, the northern group promoting the candidacy of Northern candidates within the PDP said yesterday, that an attempt by the forum to get the president to concede the 2015 presidential ticket to the north failed after two meetings.
He said that while he was unaware of an agreement between the president and the governors, it would be a matter of honour for the president to honour such an agreement if he had entered into it.
Meanwhile, other northern opinion leaders, yesterday, used President Olusegun Obasanjo’s claim on the final day of PDP campaigns where he was quoted as saying that President Jonathan would serve one term as evidence of an agreement
However, groups and individuals supporting the president have already started denying the existence of such an agreement.
Mr Joe Ambakaderemo, national coordinator of South-South Elements Progressive Union, SSEPU, described the existence of the agreement as inconceivable, outlandish and myopic, saying Aliyu should wait till 2019 to realise his ambition.