Abuja — There are indications that the North is working assiduously towards dumping President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 election for one of its own. The action of the North, it was gathered, is not unconnected with the deep-seated anger running across the region over Jonathan’s alleged betrayal and tampering with the political economic interest of the region.
|From Left: Bauchi State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Sagir Saleh, PDP North-East Zonal Chairman, Sen. Mohammed Girgir, and PDP Bauchi State Chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Yaro-Yaro, at the inauguration of PDP Secretariat In Bauchi State On Friday (28/9/12).|
The North is angry with Jonathan over his rejection of the zoning arrangement of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and subsequent contest of the 2011Presidential poll, which he eventually won.
Although Jonathan has not declared his intention to run, his foot soldiers have already begun to claim that Jonathan must be allowed to complete his two terms as provided by the Nigerian Constitution.
According to findings, Jonathan is said to have appended his signature as number 37th of the 47 political leaders in the country, who met with Obasanjo in his Ota farm in 2003 to firm up arrangement for the PDP elections.
But, following the death of Alhaji Shehu Yar’Adua, the President reportedly said there was no zoning arrangement barring him from running for the nation’s top job, thereby incurring the wrath of the North.
A member of the Northern Elders’ Forum, NEF, Prof Ango Abdullahi, confirmed the anger of the region against Jonathan when contacted.
According to Abdullahi, who is the spokesman of the NEF, Jonathan had betrayed the North and would not be supported in the next election.
Abdullahi, a former Special Adviser to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Food Security, admitted that the North was angry with Jonathan having failed them in many respects, chief among them being manipulation of the political process to emerge as the PDP presidential candidate in 2011 and failing to provide the needed leadership for the country.
Jonathan accused of neglecting the North
The former Ahmadu Bello University Vice Chancellor, said: “We in the North cannot trust Jonathan because of his attempt to deny the zoning formula he was a signatory to in 2003.
“The North expected him to have completed Yar’Adua’s tenure and step down in 2011 for the region to complete its term but he bought over some Northern lackeys to say that he could contest the election.
“The zoning agreement effectively disqualified Jonathan from contesting the 2011 election on moral grounds.
“But surprisingly, they cleverly manipulated the primaries and other processes and enthroned Jonathan. That was possible because some Northerners sold out and connived with him to undo the area for their own selfish interest.
“I can assure you that the North will not sit back for 2011 to repeat itself. That is what I can say at this point in time, we cannot support someone who reneged on a gentleman’s agreement that disqualified him from contesting in the election on purely moral grounds.
“Again, it is left for Nigerians to judge whether the man has come close to being an effective president for Nigeria since he became president, whether acting or substantial”.
Although he did not name those bought over by Jonathan to undo the area, Abdullahi said the people of the North had taken note of the ‘traitors’ and would at the appropriate time expose them to the world.
Beyond ‘imposing’ himself on the people, Abdullahi accused the President of failing to cater for the crisis-prone areas of the North, thereby showing himself as someone who has no genuine interest in the region.
He said: “Despite all the crises and problems in many parts of the North, Mr. President has never for once visited to see the victims or provide for their needs.
“Now, show me what attributes of leadership that Jonathan has exhibited as a President of a great country.
“As far as we are concerned, he has failed in all. He continues to make all manner of statements that portray him as totally unsuitable and unqualified for national leadership that Nigeria needs at this point in history.”
Abdullahi also accused the present administration of aiding and abetting corruption and piling up debts that had been partially cleared by the previous administrations.
He added: “Jonathan should not seek office in 2015 because even those who supported him initially have come out to say that he is one of the most incompetent presidents that this country has ever produced. Incompetence is the key word.
On corruption, debts
“Corruption is at its peak under his leadership and that is why the country is reversing to the debt trap. Even Obasanjo left some substantial foreign reserves and virtually cleared the debt burden of the country before leaving office.
“But now the reserve is gone and we are back in debts. Subsidy is at the forefront of corruption. Over N2.6 trillion gone in the name of oil subsidy and it is evident that most people who fronted this scam did so to return most of the money to the electioneering campaign of 2011.”
Turning to the controversial onshore/offshore dichotomy Act of 2005, the NEF spokesman blamed top-ranking northerners in the Obasanjo government of also selling out the interest of the region to pass the bill into law.
According to him, it was wrong and against international law of the sea for the National Assembly to pass the oil dichotomy bill, allowing oil-producing states to be paid revenue for oil taken from as far as 200 feet isobath, thereby denying other states of federal revenue.
He said: “Governors, ministers and lawmakers from the North were all compromised with certain things all in a desperate and selfish bid to pass the oil dichotomy bill.
“All those from the North who partook in the passage of the law are guilty of compromising the interest of the area and we have their names and will make them available to Nigerians at the right time”.
He therefore sought an urgent review of the law to make more national resources available to all Nigerians.
But the Political Adviser to the President, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, has warned against any attempt by the North to stop Jonathan in 2015, saying it was a big joke.
Gulak told Vanguard in an interview that it was the President’s right to run for two terms and that nobody had the authority to stop him in 2015.