Northern elders have pointedly said President Goodluck Jonathan will not be re-elected in 2015.
They, therefore, said a segment of the Niger Delta people, particularly erstwhile militant leader, Alhaji Asari Dokubo, who said there would be war in Nigeria if their kinsman, Jonathan, is not re-elected, may start their action now.
According to them, the Jonathan sympathizers do not need to wait until their kinsman is defeated in 2015 to act.
The northern elders, under the aegis of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), hinged their opposition to the president’s re-election on non-performance. They added that Jonathan was not entitled to the office of president in the first place.
Prof. Ango Abdullahi, their spokesman, conveyed their position in an interview with Sunday Vanguard.
Abdullahi, a former Vice Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, pointed out that the North was dissatisfied with Jonathan’s presidency.
“We in the North are not going to support Jonathan in 2015 because he has done nothing for this country since he became president,” the NEF spokesperson declared.
“In fact, things in this country are worse than they have ever been. So far, in terms of the performance of this president, I don’t see how he can stand and win an election if you judge him in terms of the social, economic and political indices in the Nigerian environment where we are now. Things have gone from bad to worse since his coming.“In the first place, he should not be sitting as the president of Nigeria going by the zoning formula of his party, the PDP. The president should have come from the North based on the zoning policy of the PDP.
“Under the PDP zoning policy, the North allowed the South to produce the president for eight years, which Obasanjo took and, by their own signature, including Jonathan himself, when he was the Deputy Governor, on behalf of his governor, that the North will then run for eight years and we agreed. Umaru Yar’Ádua started by died after two and a half years.”
Abdullahi continued: “Of course, the constitution allows that his vice should serve out the remaining term of the joint ticket and we did not complain. Commonsense should have dictated to Jonathan that he should be honourable enough to respect the zoning agreement which he was a party to.
“He should have been gentlemanly enough to say to his party, ‘look, I’m not qualified to put up myself for election beyond 2011 and that a northerner should run for the post as agreed. He did not do so, but came out to say that he did not know about the zoning.
“So, how do you deal with this kind of a person who cannot honour a simple gentleman agreement? So, from all these perspectives, I don’t see how one can support the president or his ability to be able to lead this country.”
On the threat by ex-militant leaders to cause violence if Jonathan was not returned in 2015, the NEF spokesperson challenged them to start the war now and stop waiting until their kinsman was voted out.
The renowned agriculturist made it clear that the North was not afraid of the threat as no tribe, group of groups of individual had the monopoly of causing mayhem.
Abdullahi said, “The choice to resort to violence or not is that of the militants. The choice for peace or no peace is that of all Nigerians. No individual or group of individuals has monopoly for peace or lack of it.
“My reaction is that but for the fact that I am aware that (Alhaji) Dokubo (ex-N-Delta militant leader) is a spokesperson for the corridors of powers, I would have ignored him. But my reaction now is directed to their leaders, elders, including the president, that if it is their feeling that this is the way things should go, I am saying, on behalf of the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, that they should start the crisis now because I’m putting them on notice that Jonathan will not be president in 2015. So they can start now and we in the North are waiting.”
The NEF spokesperson boasted that the North was capable of presenting a common candidate, who would be able to defeat Jonathan in a free and fair election in 2015.
He said, “Look, what I want to see is democracy in practice so that as many candidates who want to contest the next presidential election, including Jonathan himself, can do so freely, without being witch-hunted or harassed by anyone.
“In fact, I would prefer that Jonathan should contest and I can assure you that he would lose. And as far as the North is concerned, there are many credible and qualified candidates and, once a free and fair election is guaranteed, the people would choose who they want to be their president come 2015.”
Former militant leader, Asari Dokubo, last week, warned of dire consequences if Jonathan was not re-elected in 2015.
Although the House of Representatives has raised a panel to investigate him for making provocative statement, Dokubo and other Niger Delta groups have dared the lawmakers to arrest him.
JD: Jonathan could have nipped this in the bud by calling his kinsmen to order and disassociating himself from Asari’s outburst.Just as Ipredicted no one has the monopoly of explosive and intimidating acts,verbal or physical.Now the horse has bolted and there will be no end to the flurry of this nature and only God knows where this will lead.Is this the begining of the end?Will the Americans be proved right?Time,and it wont be too long,will tell,and at the denuement ,the blame for it all will be at only one doorstep because he was missing in action when it mattered most!He had fallen asleep