The former governor of Niger State, Dr Babangida Aliyu has refuted claims by the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic (PDP) that he worked working against President Goodluck Jonathan, the party’s presidential candidate in the 2015 election.
Aliyu said in a statement ‘Why We opposed Jonathan’s second term bid’ that the decision to stop Jonathan was not a personal decision but collective, including the PDP governors in the north.
He said some months before the presidential election, the PDP governors joined the other northern governors at a meeting in Abuja and unanimously resolved not to allow Jonathan win the election.
Aliyu, who was then chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF), said the 19 northern governors agreed that Jonathan had violated the terms of an agreement he reached with the party and the northern governors not to run for second term in 2015.
“Following the sudden passage of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on May 5th, 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.
“All the governors in the North under the PDP supported the then Vice President Goodluck 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 on running 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. As Chairman of the 19 Northern State 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 Jonathan. That agreement was written and accepted by all.”
The former governor said the 19 governors, including those of the PDP did not oppose Jonathan but opposed his insistence on second term in office because the North would have lost out completely.
He said: “It would have been morally wrong for Jonathan to contest for and win the 2015 presidential election having completed the Umaru Yar’Adua’s tenure as President, held the same office as President for four years and then contest for the same office for another four years.
“It is wrong for anyone to erroneously say that I, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu had opposed Goodluck.”