The intense power play preceding the 2015 presidential election intensified on Saturday when Governor of Niger State, Babangida claimed that President Goodluck Jonathan entered into an agreement with governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party to serve for a term.
Aliyu, made the claim during an interview with a Kaduna-based radio station, Liberty FM on Saturday morning.
The audio interview was later in the evening uploaded on an online news portal, Saharareporters.
Scroll down for the audio interview…
Aliyu in the interview said PDP governors had a single-term pact with Jonathon.
According to the governor, it was on the basis of the said agreement that he and some of his colleagues in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party supported the President in the 2011 presidential election.
He said, “What will be, will be in 2015. We must remind people of the promises they have made. When he (Jonathan) was going to declare, governors of PDP were brought together to ensure that we were all in the same frame of mind. Some of us, given the PDP zoning, were expecting that the northern states would produce the President for these number of years but God has done His own.
“At that discussion, it was agreed that President Jonathan would serve one term and we all signed and when he went to Kampala, he said the same thing. But for now, President Jonathan has not declared his candidacy and we must not be speculating based on who those are benefiting from such a thing. I believe that we are all gentlemen enough and when the time comes, we will all sit down and see what the right thing to do is.
“Many people may misunderstand my stance that I pray for the success of the merger of the opposition parties because I want a situation where in this country, parties can really challenge one another. So that we don’t take it for granted that because you have been winning elections, you can do as you wish. There is a purpose for election. There is a purpose for setting up government. You set up government for the competence, effectiveness and efficiency of running an administration. You don’t set it up because of a group of people to keep on enjoying to the detriment of the people.”
When contacted last night, the presidency was quick to deny the claim credited to Aliyu, who is also the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum.
Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Dr. Ahmed Gulak, made the presidency’s position known in Abuja.
Gulak told one of PUNCH correspondents that Jonathan did not sign any agreement with anyone.
Gulak advised the governor who has declared a presidential ambition to go about the pursuit of his ambition without making what he called “frivolous allegations” against the President.
He said, “President Goodluck Jonathan did not win the presidential election in Governor Aliyu’s state, Niger.
“Anybody who has a presidential ambition, it is such a person’s constitutional right to have ambition.
“He should however go about his ambition without coming up with frivolous allegations.
“President Jonathan did not sign such an agreement with anybody to the best of my knowledge.
“The alleged agreement only exists in the figment of the imagination of somebody with presidential ambition.”
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Olisa Metuh, however, said he won’t speak on the issue since he didn’t hear the governor say such a thing.
“I won’t speak on that since I didn’t hear the governor saying such,” he said.
Governor Aliyu was quoted as saying that he and the other signatories to the agreement, had no doubt that the President would keep to the terms of the agreement.
He also added that President Jonathan had not told the governors that he would contest the 2015 presidential election.
President Jonathan, during a media chat last year, had declared that he was yet to decide whether or not to contest in 2015. He said his decision on the subject would be made public in 2014.
He had argued that making a definite pronouncement on the subject would distract his administration from delivering on its campaign promises.
Aliyu is one of the seven northern governors who have indicated interest in contesting for the presidency.
Other governors who have their eyes on the position are Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State, Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State and Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State.
All the governors are of the ruling PDP to which President Goodluck Jonathan belongs. All of them are also in their second term in office.
Ex-governors Ahmed Makarfi and Ibrahim Shekarau of Kaduna and Kano states respectively, are also said to be interested in the race.
In the past one year, leaders of the North have met on different platforms, insisting on replacing President Jonathan with a northerner in 2015.