Northern Governors Betrayed The North - Yakassai, Kaita

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KANO, Jan 15, (THEWILL) – Two days after the candidate they backed suffered an embarrassing defeat at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential primary, two Northern leaders, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, a former Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters to then President Shehu Shagari; and Alhaji Lawan Kaita, a former civilian Governor of old Kaduna State have accused some Northern Governors of betraying the region by aligning with President Goodluck Jonathan to defeat Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Recall that Kaita and Yakasai are members of the Northern Political Leader Forum (NPLF) that chose Atiku as the North’s Consensus Candidate following their insistence that the region must produce the President.

Yakasai had earlier in May 27, 2010, filed a suit at a Federal High Court in Abuja seeking to restrain then Acting President Jonathan from exercising the powers of the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

Reacting to Atiku’s dismal performance at the convention, Kaita, who did not mince words, accused the governors from the region of betrayal warning that their reelection bid would be rejected by voters.

“These Governors who betrayed their people will be judged by the same people whose interest they have undermined, they will see evil if they do evil,” Kaita said.

He however commended the Governors of Sokoto, Kano, Zamfara, Kebbi and Niger states for having the spirit of the North, by delivering a good number of delegates from their states to Atiku, adding that the “Traitors will pay dearly for what they have done, for betraying the Northern Region,” Kaita further said.

Commenting on the overwhelming defeat of Atiku, Yakasai who also blamed the governors for manipulating delegates from their states argued that if the governors had not interfered, delegates would have voted freely and Atiku would have won the PDP Presidential ticket.

“If you take for instance states where governors decided not to interfere, the people showed that they would have voted for Atiku, 800 votes from five states is no mean achievement, If 10 other states were given freedom to vote, according to their conscience, Atiku would have scored 2000 votes,” Yakasai said.

Yakasai, who said the PDP primary was not a true reflection of the wish of voters, opined that when it comes to the main election, Northern governors would not be able to manipulate voters to vote otherwise.