A former Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, has denied being the mastermind of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s botched second term bid.
The revelation comes after his purported suspension by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Chachanga Local Government Area of Niger or anti-party activities, including working against Jonathan in 2015.
Clearing the air, Aliyu revealed that some governors of the PDP worked against Jonathan in 2015 because the immediate past president reneged on earlier agreement not to seek a second term, Daily Trust writes.
“Following the sudden passage of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on May 5th, 2010, the leadership of the then governing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 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,” Aliyu said in a statement.
Aliyu said since the governors in the North felt their region would be shortchanged if Jonathan had succeeded, they rose stoutly to insist on the enforcement of the agreement.
“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.
“As chairman of the 19 Northern States Governors Forum, the task was on my shoulders to voice out the position of the North which stood disadvantaged by the demise of Alhaji Musa Yar’Adua and the insistence that Jonathan should run for the office of president in 2015.
“We acted in good spirit and argued our points based on principle and on the subsisting agreement we had with Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. That agreement was written and accepted by all. It is, therefore, wrong for anyone to erroneously say that I, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu had opposed Goodluck Jonathan,” he said.
Jonathan who represented the PDP eventually lost the 2015 elections to the All Progressives Congress’ candidate, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) becoming the first incumbent Nigerian president to lose an election.