By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
The key position of the North as a critical region in Nigeria’s politics cannot be ignored nor misplaced by any politician. The North is Nigeria’s decisive ace card in politics, former Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has said.
He spoke in an interview where the issue of his alleged opposition to the second term bid of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2015 resonated.
Dr. Babangida Aliyu recalled that following the death of then President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on May, 5th 2010, the then leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party along with the state governors under the flagship of the party had series of meetings on the presidency and the future of the party.He said all the governors in the North under the PDP supported the then Vice President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to complete the remaining years of Yar’Adua’s tenure and to contest the next presidential election in 2011 as a sole candidate of the party, (PDP).
This agreement was far reaching and done in good faith and in the strong line of fairness, justice and understanding of all and in the best interest of Nigeria, said Babangida Aliyu.
Babangida Aliyu who was then the sitting Chairman of the forum of nineteen Northern State Governors, recalled however that midway afterwards, President Goodluck Jonathan insisted to run for the office in 2015 against the grain of their earlier agreement.
“Since this was against the grain of our earlier agreement in the party, and which we, the governors in the North felt the region would have been shortchanged if Jonathan succeeded, we rose stoutly to insist on the agreement we all had”.
On that premise, we opposed Jonathan’s bid. But all along, Goodluck Jonathan had enjoyed every support from the governors in the north and from almost the entire region, he insisted.
“As Chairman of the nineteen Northern States Governors Forum, the task was on my shoulders to voice out the position of the North which apparently stood disadvantaged by the demise of Alhaji Musa Yar’Adua and the insistence that Jonathan should run for the office of president in 2015 after he had held sway as President after the death of Yar’Adua and another four years afterwards.
He explained that “we acted in good spirit and we argued our points based on principle and on the subsisting agreement which we had with Goodluck Ebele Jonathan when Yar’Adua passed on”.
That agreement was written and accepted by all. We didn’t oppose Jonathan, but we were opposed to his insistence on second term in office because the North would have lost out completely if we had accepted his bid for another four years.
Beside this, it would have been morally wrong for Jonathan to contest for and win the 2015 presidential elections, having completed the Umaru Yar’Adua’s tenure as President, held the same office as President for four years and then contest for the same office for another four years, (second term).
He said it is therefore wrong for anyone to erroneously say or insinuate that Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu had opposed Goodluck Jonathan.
Dr. Babangida Aliyu said as a loyal party member, he had never engaged in any any anti party act nor has he ever contemplated jumping ship to another political platform for whatever reason.