2011: NORTHERN LEADERS MOVE AGAINST JONATHAN
President Goodluck Jonathan
As uncertainty persists over which region should produce the next president, top politicians from the North are meeting in Abuja today towards ensuring that the presidency is retained in the region till 2015.
The meeting, according to sources close to the organisers, was to specifically map out strategies to stop President Goodluck Jonathan from contesting the 2011 election.
The meeting, which is expected to be attended on the basis of five delegates per state from the 19 Northern states and a representation from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is to kick-start the process of returning power to the North in line with the political arrangement that was believed to have been adopted by the three political parties that participated in the 1999 general elections.
The parties were, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Peoples Party (APP) which later metamorphosed into All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and the Alliance for Democracy (AD).
Daily Sun gathered that personalities expected to attend the crucial meeting include former heads of states, a former vice presidents of northern extraction, governors and some former members of the National Assembly, who had vowed to bury their personal ambitions for the common interest of the region. The focus of the group that is currently being co-ordinated by a former minister from the North Central is to return power to the North in 2011.
'The people must be made to understand and appreciate the fact that the country is bigger and greater than any individual and no one should take advantage of a given situation to want to change what would make the country more united. Zoning arrangement was agreed upon so that each of the six geo-political zones would have an opportunity of having a shot at the Presidency.
'The South-West commenced the process and enjoyed it for eight years, so why are we talking of a shift when the North is yet to even have full three years. If the current opponents of zoning are sincere, let them wait until 2015 to cancel the zoning arrangement,' one of the organizers told Daily Sun on condition of anonymity.
The development may have gingered former military President, Ibrahim Babangida to have declared in Abuja on Tuesday that he has not given up his political ambition for 2011 particularly giving the fact that the primaries of the party would be the decider for all candidates.
Daily Sun also gathered that the Northern political leaders were equally angered that while some people were campaigning against the zoning arrangement, they had deliberately refused to talk about jettisoning other positions zoned along that of the presidency.
'Some political jobbers who are talking about the need to do away with zoning are the same people mobilizing support for another South Easterner to still emerge as the National Chairman of the ruling PDP. If they are sincere, let them start the process. 'You see, the whole game is selfish and self-centered and it should not be encouraged,' one of the organizers of the northern leaders meeting told Daily Sun.