The Northern States Governors Forum under the leadership of former Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State rejected President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term bid in 2015 because the northern region would have lost out completely.
Aliyu, a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said after they had supported Jonathan to complete late president Umaru Yar’Adua’s tenure and contested in 2011, the former president insisted to run for the office in 2015 against the grain of their earlier agreement.
“Following the sudden passage of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on May 5th, 2010, the leadership of the then governing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 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.
“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,” Aliyu said in a statement on Friday.
Aliyu, who was reacting to comments that he worked against Jonathan’s reelection in 2015, insisted it was not his decision but that of the northern governors forum, which he was then then chairman.
Aliyu said that since Jonathan’s quest to contest in 2015 was against an earlier agreement in the party, and which the governors in the North felt their region would been shortchanged if Jonathan had succeeded, they rose stoutly to insist on the enforcement of the agreement.
“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.
“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 said, adding that they didn’t oppose Jonathan but were opposed to his insistence for a second term in office in beyond 2015.
“The North would have lost out completely,” Aliyu said of what would have happened if Jonathan had succeeded in 2015.
“It is, therefore, wrong for anyone to erroneously say that I, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu had opposed Goodluck Jonathan,” the former governor added