Barely five days after President Goodluck Jonathan declared his ambition to contest the 2015 presidential election, the Northern socio-political pressure group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has said it is not perturbed by the president’s declaration as the north is ready to produce the next president of the country in 2015.
The group also clarified that it was not against the president’s declaration for presidency as it was only a competent court of law that could decide whether President Jonathan is eligible or not for a second term bid. Chairman of the ACF, Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie, said it was imperative to inform Nigerians on the need to understand why power should return to the north, given the events which heralded President Jonathan’s emergence, after the death of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
“I am telling you that as chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), come 2015, it will be the turn of Northern Nigeria to produce a president. Whether it is legally right for the president to seek re-election, let the court decide,” he told Saturday New Telegraph.
The ACF chairman, who gave instances that led to the president’s emergence after the death of late Yar’Adua, said: “We have said it before when President (Umaru Musa) Yar’Adua died; automatically, Jonathan stepped in and completed that tenure.”
He noted that President Jonathan would have become a hero had he stepped down to allow for a northern president to emerge after completing the “Yar’Adua’s tenure”.
“Then he (President Jonathan) decided to contest for the second tenure, some of us have said if Jonathan had thought wisely, after completing Yar’Adua’s tenure, he should have stepped down and allowed another northerner to complete the rest four years, going by the power shift agreement. “Jonathan would have become a hero in this country and had he come now to contest, he would have been supported by everyone in the North.
Some of his supporters tried to legitimise his re-election in 2015 during the National Conference by introducing a new constitution but we resisted it. So, we are waiting for Jonathan at the polls, we really want the presidency to come back to the north.” Asked if he was aware that President Jonathan was returned as a consensus candidate by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors and stakeholders, Coomassie said: “There are other parties and they are organising.
They will bring out a northern candidate and they will fight it over. It will be the duty of northern electorate to use their votes wisely. They have seen what happened to their region in the last years. Will they still elect somebody who didn’t bother to check these killings and kidnappings all over? “Look at the Chibok girls. We don’t even know where they are. Students have been killed in their schools.
So, will Nigerians re-elect Jonathan again besides the constitutionality of his seeking re-election?” On whether he was aware of the one-term pact allegedly signed by the President with some PDP governors in 2011 that power will return to the north, the ACF chairman said he was unaware of any document regarding the pact. “I don’t think it is mandatory for anybody to show me that agreement. Don’t forget that we had that same problem during Obasanjo’s time.
There was also a gentleman’s agreement that was reached, for power to return to the north but he also denied it. He did his two terms and even tried to get a third term but didn’t get it. So, he brought in Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck. So, what will happen in 2015, will absolutely be in the hands of the electorate and the election officials,” he said. See pages 45 and 46 for interview