Babangida Aliyu, former governor of Niger, says governors under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the north worked against the second term ambition of Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 because the former president reneged on their agreement not to seek another term.
Jonathan, candidate of the PDP in the 2015 presidential election, lost to President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a statement on Friday, Aliyu stated that the northern governors had an agreement with Jonathan to complete the tenure of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, who died in office, and then run for only one term, but the former president insisted on running for a second term.
He said the north felt the region stood in a disadvantaged position and shortchanged if Jonathan won a second term.
“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,” Aliyu 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.
“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. We didn’t oppose Jonathan but we were opposed to his insistence on a second term in office because the North would have lost out completely. It is, therefore, wrong for anyone to erroneously say that I, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, had opposed Goodluck Jonathan.”
In March, the PDP in Chanchaga LGA of Niger had suspended the former governor for “working against the election success” of Jonathan in 2015.