2015: Middle Belt Forum Okays Jonathan For Another Term
SAN FRANCISCO, July 02, (THEWILL) – As the countdown to the next general elections begins in earnest, the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), Tuesday, joined elders from the South-South and South-East in backing President Goodluck Jonathan's bid for yet another term in office.
Led by a former governor of Plateau State, Chief Solomon Lar, the MBF members made the promise of support when they paid a visit to the President at the State House, Abuja, where they also had a closed door meeting with him.
Speaking on behalf of the other members of the forum after the meeting, former Information Minister, Professor Jerry Gana, said the MBF had in the past supported Jonathan and will not waiver now or in the future.
“We have done that before and we shall do it again,” he stated.
According to Gana, MBF was impressed by the performance of the president as catalogued in his recent mid-term report.
"Essentially, we came to see Mr. President to appreciate what he has been able to do so far as contained in his mid-term report.
“We appreciated the area of achievement and we also pointed out areas that needed further attention so that their completion will give tremendous credibility to this government and also help those of us who are supporting the government from the Middle Belt the credibility to speak about government. So it was a very frank exchange, appreciation and also areas to be given attention,” he explained.
Gana also diclosed that the leaders from the 14 states in the Middle Belt region also discussed problems of insecurity, economic empowerment, solid minerals development, the completion of key major projects, like the Ajaokuta and construction of dams in the area with the president.
“The interactive session pointed out a number of problems at stake, particularly the security challenges, so many people have lost their lives, property and suffered tremendously and we are expecting that the government through the processes already in place would ensure fair and just compensation where appropriate,” Gana said.
Also speaking at the meeting with journalists after the parley with the President, Plateau State governor, Jonah Jang, said taking cue from the support being rallied for the president by his people in the South-South, the Middle Belt region is also throwing its weight behind him.
“South-South Forum is the zone of the President, so if they have started making the noise, it is good, because it is their President. Ours is support to the good of Nigerian," he said.
However, he said that it would amount to jumping the gun if groups start campaigning for the President before he declares his intention to run.
“But you don't start shouting before the man says this is where I am going... So, when he talks, if people are supporting, we shall come out to support him,” he said.
Present at the meeting were Jang’s predecessor in office, Joshua Dariye; Fidelis Tapgun; former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu; first woman Speaker in Nigeria, Mrs Margaret Icheen; and a Special Adviser to the President on Ethics, Mrs Sarah Jubril.
Others were the former governor of Taraba State, Rev. Jolly Nyame; former deputy governor of Kogi, Mr Phillips Salawu; Sen, Jonathan Zwigina; Mr John Darah; Hon. Jonathan Asake; Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha and former THISDAY State House correspondent, Josephine Lohor.