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Jonathan, Jang berate Niger governor over 2015 bribery allegations

By The Citizen
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The Federal government yesterday described as reckless and pathetic, the statement credited to Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu that President Goodluck Jonathan had bribed 400 prominent northerners to ensure he wins the 2015 presidential election.

Also, the factional chairman of the Nigerian Governors' Forum, NGF, and Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, described Aliyu as the number one traitor in the North.

Aliyu had on Saturday at the 25th anniversary of the enthronement of Alhaji Umaru Bahago as Emir of Minna said: 'We heard a rumour that some people have a list of 400 prominent northerners that they are going to 'settle' and that they are sure if they 'settle' the 400 everything will be okay in 2015.

'We are looking for that list so that we will tell the people of the region that these are the people that want to betray you.'

But the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, said yesterday that the Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum, NSGF, 'is given to triviality and gradually turning into a joker who makes unsubstantiated statements.'

It stated that there was no iota of truth in Aliyu's statement.

Gulak said: 'That is a laughable allegation. It is very laughable. The President is not given to bribing anybody for any support. How can he bribe northerners? How many people are voters in the North? How can he make such a serious allegation? How can he make such reckless allegation?

'Babangida Aliyu is given to trivialising issues. The last time he came out with a story that they had a signed agreement with Mr. President not to run for second term, we challenged him, up till now he has not brought that agreement.

'Now he is making such serious allegation, before you know it, Nigerians will take him for a joker. It is high time we started knowing that Nigerians are not fools. They are aware of his responsible position as governor of Niger State and he should not make such reckless statements and allegations. This is because he is holding a very sensitive position as a governor.

'So, I plead with him not to trivialise the issue and denigrate the office of the governor that he is occupying for now by making such reckless statements.'

Asked if there was any need for the President to even contemplate making such moves, he said: 'It is not true, why are you asking such question? I have said it is not true and it is a reckless allegation. There is no iota of truth in it,' he said.

Jang, in a statement by his media office in Abuja, insisted that the ultimate betrayer in the North was Aliyu.

He said: 'The ultimate betrayal occurred when the northern governors met and agreed on Governor Jang as the consensus candidate of the North to become the chairman of the Nigerian Governors' Forum only for Governor Aliyu and his cohorts to betray the northern governors' agreement.

'Maybe Governor Aliyu and his group do not see me as a northern and perhaps need to explain to us what makes you a northerner if they can so flagrantly disregard the collective decision.

'If Governor Aliyu is accusing anybody in the North of betrayal, maybe he should think hard to find out if these people did not learn the act from him.

'Nigerians are not stupid, the more the issues unravel, the more they see the root cause of some of the issues plaguing our polity today and those responsible through their deceit and dishonour, which now means state governors can no longer sit down together and believe anything they agree on collectively.'