The claim that all the 19 northern governors worked against former President Goodluck Jonathan during the 2015 presidential election, has been dismissed by a former governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang.
A former governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, had said northern governors under the auspices of Northern Governors Forum, NGF, agreed to deliberately work against the second term bid of Jonathan.
He said the decision was informed by what he described as Jonathan’s failure to honour an agreement he had with them in 2011.
Aliyu explained that northern governors felt betrayed by Jonathan’s decision to run for a second term after agreeing not to contest in 2015.
He added that the governors consequently resolved to ensure he didn’t return to power.
According to him, “following the sudden passage of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on May 5, 2010, the leadership of the then governing Peoples Democratic Party along with the state governors under the flagship of the party had series of meetings on the presidency and the future of our great party.
“All the governors in the north under the PDP supported the then Vice-President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to complete the remaining years of Yar’Adua’s tenure and to contest the next presidential election as a sole candidate of our great party.
However, midway, President Goodluck Jonathan insisted to run for the office in 2015 against the grain of our earlier agreement.
“Since this was against the grain of our earlier agreement in the party, and which we the governors in the north felt the north would have been shortchanged if Jonathan had succeeded, we rose stoutly to insist on the agreement we all had. On that premise, we opposed Jonathan.
But all along, Goodluck Jonathan had enjoyed every support from the governors in the north and the entire region.”
The former Niger State governor is currently having a running battle with his state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
He was earlier suspended by the party for allegedly engaging in anti-party activities.
Aliyu was particularly accused of working against the PDP in 2015.
It was while defending himself that he claimed the decision to work against Jonathan was collective.
But reacting to the allegation by Aliyu, Jang, a member of the PDP, accused his former colleague of lying, saying he wasn’t a party to the alleged agreement.
Jang said he believed Jonathan was better equipped to govern the country than President Muhammadu Buhari at the time.
In a statement by his spokesman, Clinton Garuba, he said there was no basis for him not to have supported Jonathan, especially when the contest was against Buhari.
The statement titled: Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu Lied, reads: “For the avoidance of doubt, despite the perceived shortcomings of President Goodluck Jonathan, Senator Jonah believed that Jonathan was better equipped to rule Nigeria at the time, especially when his opponent was General Buhari.
“Jang did not hide his conviction concerning Buhari’s inabilities to resolve the nation’s challenges and sensitivities of the issues at the moment. Unfortunately, Buhari won and we are all witnesses to the tales of woes.
“Senator Jang is not one who speaks from both sides of his mouth, rather he speaks and supports only what he believes, little wonder Plateau was won by President Jonathan in the 2015 general election.
It was largely due to the hard work of the then governor. “For emphasis sake, there was no basis for Dr. Jang not to have supported Dr. Jonathan especially when the contest was against General Buhari.”
Recall that Jonathan lost to Buhari who won 54 percent of the votes on March 29, 2015.
He was the first incumbent to lose an election since democracy returned to Nigeria in 1999.