The immediate past governor of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, said on Friday that northern governors rose against former President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term bid in 2015 because of the perceived threat of his victory to the north.
Aliyu said in Minna that the northern governors felt at the time that their part of the country stood in a disadvantaged position and would be shortchanged if Jonathan won reelection.
He claimed that Jonathan had earlier reached an agreement with the north to complete what was left of the tenure of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and then run for only one term.
He said the ex-president’s insistence on going for another term in 2015 was against the agreement he had with the northern governors.
“Following the sudden passage of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on May 5, 2010, the leadership of the then governing 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 our great 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 as a sole candidate of our great party.
“However, midway, President Goodluck Jonathan insisted to run for the office in 2015 against the grain of our 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 North would have been shortchanged if Jonathan had succeeded, we rose stoutly to insist on the agreement we all had.
“On that premise, we opposed Jonathan. But all along, Goodluck Jonathan had enjoyed every support from the governors in the north and the entire region.”
The former governor said it was wrong for anyone to say that he opposed Goodluck Jonathan.
He added that as the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum then, it was his responsibility to tell the people about the stand of the governors.
His words: “As Chairman of the 19 Northern States Governors Forum, the task was on my shoulders to voice out the position of the North which stood disadvantaged by the demise of Alhaji Musa Yar’Adua and the insistence that Jonathan should run for the office of president in 2015.
“We acted in good spirit and argued our points based on principle and on the subsisting agreement we had with Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. That agreement was written and accepted by all.”
Aliyu further insisted that the northern governors did not oppose Goodluck Jonathan but they opposed his insistence on running for a second term as the north would have lost out completely.
Jonathan was defeated in the election by President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).