2011: North split over Jonathan as support grows
The north seem to be split over whether, President Goodluck Jonathan should run for presidency come 2011. While one flank thinks the zoning formula put in place by the People Democratic Party(PDP), was not cast in stone, the other side of the aisle contend that such move would be a betrayal of the north, and utter disregard for the zoning formula of the PDP.
Pointblanknews.com learnt that the arrow head of the opposition is led by Senator Kanti Bello, and another PDP top shot and diplomat, Yahaya Kwande, but on the other side are the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) led by Gen. Ibrahim Haruna, Ex Speaker, Bello Masari, the former chairman of the party, Bernabas Gemade and the Yar' Adua National Movement (YANM).
It was however gathered that despite the opposition, there is a groundswell of support from the north, for Jonathan to run in 2011. The reason, pointblanknews.com learnt , is the lack of credible candidates, and the goodwill Jonathan has from diverse sections of the country plus the tacit support from outside , especially from the United States. US Under-Secretary of State, Maria Otero recently said so far the Pressident can guarantee a free and fair election, there was nothing wrong in him running in 2011.
According to our source “ the issue is whether to support him or not, but as we all know the north is divided. The Kanti Bellos don't want to hear it, while the ACF, Gemade, Masari and co have showed support. Also Jonathan has credibility which none of the northern potential candidates have, he also has the support and trust of the international community including the United States”
Gemade said recently “I believe that no one should stop an incumbent president, or an incumbent office holder, in any respect from exercising their fundamental human rights to contest an election.”, while Masari argued that ““Let me tell you, the issue of rotation or zoning was not a matter of one political party.
“It all started after Abiola won election in 1993 and he was not sworn-in as President and people gave it regional and tribal colourations whereas it was entirely a military affair.
“So, at the return of another democracy, all the parties agreed that there will be rotation. You can ask question on what were the reasons for zoning in 1998. If those reasons are still relevant today or not, then, you can answer it yourself.”
On their part the leader of YANM , Bala Kuki Jnr said recently in Katsina. “ there is need to give equal opportunity…my movement is ready to give President Jonathan 100 per cent support should he decide to run…though the movement was formed to advance the ideals of the late President, we also believe in supporting whoever would steer the ship of the nation to peace, progress, and economic prosperity”
According to ACF chieftain, Mohammed Abdulrahman, “ , political parties' useful arrangement for zoning does not exist in the constitution, but some selfish politicians now see it as an instrument to use in pretending that they are fighting for the interest of the North, while their major preoccupation remains their selfish objectives. pretending that they are fighting for the interest of the North, while their major preoccupation remains their selfish objectives. “
But Kwande has a contrary view 'it will not be fair for the party to abandon an agreement half way. The south west has ruled for eight years. The north has done half of its term and still has another half of four years after which the south east would produce the presidential candidate in 2015 for another eight years. If you want to be fair, the north should be allowed to complete its term of four years' he said.
Bello backs him on this “ If Jonathan can come and discard an agreement which he himself was part of as the deputy governor of Bayelsa state and can now say it is rubbish, how sure are you that he is the one that will move this country forward? It does not matter how small it is, honor is honor. If it is in Europe or America and not Nigeria where we have so many sycophants in the media and everywhere, do you think this will happen? Leadership is all about honor. There is nothing wrong in finishing Yar'Adua's tenure and then come in 2015.”