by John Alechenu, Oluwole Josiah and Ihuoma Chidozie
As the race for the 2015 presidential election gathers momentum, northerners as well as their southern counterparts, are putting final touches to plans to get the best out of the next dispensation.
Saturday PUNCH gathered on Thursday that while the North appear divided over the endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, the region has started mobilisation on the need to do “what’s best for us.”
A source, who confided in Saturday PUNCH, said, “The first phase has been set in motion; there are local political radio programmes which have been on for some time, all we need to do is to strengthen them.
“We have the voting population and if our brothers from the South-West who have suffered together with our people under Jonathan cooperate with us, there is no way he can win in 2015.”
Asked what the ACF is doing to actualise whatever plan it has to back a candidate the North will support, the spokesman for the ACF, Mohammed Ibrahim, said in a text message: “ACF is packaging a sensitisation programme that will enlighten the people on the importance of voter registration and election of credible candidates in 2015. We will soon launch the programme which will include jingles and posters.”
The spokesman for the Northern Elders Forum, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, said the North would prove to all those who have betrayed “the cause for their selfish ends” that the region “is now more than ever before, united in the desire to have one of its own as President come 2015.”
The National Coordinator, Coalition of Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, said should President Jonathan rig himself back into office in 2015, it might spell the end of Nigeria as an entity.
He said “Quote me, if this President rigs himself back into office in 2015, it may very well mark the end of this country.”
Mohammed, who was a Kano State delegate to the just concluded National Conference, said, “Jonathan is a divisive character. He is not only tribalistic, he is clannish. He is very corrupt, irresponsible and he is not ashamed to lie. He has done more damage to the psyche of the average Nigerian that any other government in recent memory.”
But the Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, said it was in support of the Presidency remaining in the South-South to ensure Nigeria’s stability.