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2011: Northern Politicians Warn Jonathan On Presidential Ambition

Source: EBUBECHI EMMANUEL - thewillnigeria.com
PHOTO: NIGERIAN PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN ENGAGES A BLIND STUDENT AT THE SCHOOL FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION DURING HIS ONE-DAY VISIT TO ZAMFARA STATE TODAY. IMAGE: STATE HOUSE.
PHOTO: NIGERIAN PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN ENGAGES A BLIND STUDENT AT THE SCHOOL FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION DURING HIS ONE-DAY VISIT TO ZAMFARA STATE TODAY. IMAGE: STATE HOUSE.
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ABUJA, May 25, (THEWILL) - Political leaders from the north on Tuesday visited the leadership of the National Assembly to protest the perceived plans by President Goodluck Jonathan and some stalwarts of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to jettison the zoning arrangement of the party for the 2011 election.

The northern politicians who met with Senate President David Mark on the issue stressed that the removal of the zoning formula would erode the peace and harmony existing in the country.

The visit is on the backdrop of calls from several quarters urging the President to disregard the zoning formula and contest the 2011 election though the North has yet to complete its tenure started by late President Umaru Yar'Adua under the zoning arrangement of the PDP.

Under that arrangement power was to remain in the north until 2015 but it shifted to Jonathan who is from the South South following the death of Yar’Adua last month.

However the northern leaders under the umbrella of Northern Elders Assembly emphasized at their meeting with Mark that the removal of that agreement will not augur well with the country as they fear it will “erode the existing unity existing among the federating units of the country.”

Spokesperson of the group, Alhaji Bello Kirfi urged the Senate President to persuade President Jonathan to respect the arrangement which gave him the Vice Presidency in the general interest of the country. They also called on him to prevail on the President not to undermine the principle of federal character in federal appointments in the country.

Kirfi charged the President to rather focus on his electoral reforms agenda to guarantee credible elections in 2011

Responding, Mark assured that President Jonathan is very mindful of the diverse nature of the country and will not do anything unconstitutional to undermine the sanctity of her unity.

Senator Mark stated that Jonathan who ran a joint ticket with late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua for the present Presidency has also emphasized on the principle of the rule of law as his guide.

He also vowed that National Assembly will continue to be guided by the constitution and rule of law and urged Nigerians to see the nation beyond ethnic or regional consideration.