Northern governors, and other senior politicians in the
region, may form a new political party.
A source who is part of the move to ensure that the region
recaptures power in the 2015 general elections disclosed this to one of our
correspondents in Abuja, on Friday.
The source said the formation of a new political party was
one of the three options being considered by northern political leaders as
politicking for the next general election gathers steam.
The source added that the region would not allow itself to
be used and dumped in the manner “Nuhu Ribadu was dumped by the Action Congress
of Nigeria during the 2011 elections.”
Ribadu, the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission, was the presidential candidate of the ACN in the 2011
However, he lost the states controlled by the party, except
Osun State, and is believed to have been a victim of a deal between his party’s
power brokers and those of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The source, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised
to speak to the press, said, “The reality of our current political isolation is
not lost on us here in the North.
“I believe also we have learnt a thing or two from the brand
of politics which led to the set up of Nuhu Ribadu by the ACN during the 2011
“If by any chance we allow that kind of thing to happen
again, then we are doomed. There are three options before us and we are
considering them seriously.
“One: remain in the Peoples Democratic Party where we are
almost certain that President Goodluck Jonathan will impose himself on the
party; for those who may have forgotten, this was done in the last Nigeria
Governors’ Forum election. Don’t forget that some of the northern governors are
facing expulsion threats from PDP.
“Two: join the All Progressives Congress to defeat the PDP
or three: float a fresh political platform altogether. For those who think the
third option is a long shot, I suggest they should think again because the Congress for Progressive Change would
have been the party to beat today but for some tactical blunders.
“Politics is a game of numbers; we have the numbers as well
as the political sagacity to build bridges across ethnic and religious divides,
we have done it before, we can do it again.”
Speaking to one of our correspondents, the Convener of the
Coalition of Northern Politicians, Academics and Businessmen, Dr. Junaid
Mohammed, in a telephone interview, confirmed the plan, adding that a new party
could be the best option for the North.
He said, “I believe that if they are determined to do it,
they will get public support. If you have that support and it is seen that you
are being victimised by government, it will bounce back on your accusers. We
are strategising but it’s not what I would want to go into in details.”
Junaid also spoke about speculations that General T.Y.
Danjuma is being considered as a possible consensus presidential candidate by
He said, “I know General Danjuma and we speak a lot. I do
not believe General Danjuma takes this seriously.
“If he had wanted to be President he could have been one,
especially before the assassination of General Murtala Muhammed. After the
assassination, he was the de facto leader of the junta and he was also in
effective control of the armed forces but he didn’t want it.”
Meanwhile, northern leaders and groups have been holding
meetings towards picking a candidate for the 2015 elections.
On Friday, the spokesman for the Northern Elders’ Forum, Dr.
Paul Unongo, said that it was working with the Arewa Consultative Forum, to
ensure that the North presented a credible consensus candidate for the next
“What is going on now in the North is just discussions. ACF
has been meeting and consulting with the Northern Elders’ Forum. We have held
two or three meetings. We have areas of agreement and areas of slight
disagreement. We are consolidating on the areas we agree on.”
He added that the choice of a northern presidential
candidate would be largely based on competence and the person’s acceptability
to other parts of the country.
Ugongo said, “The Speaker of the House of Representatives
seems to stand very tall. The capacity he has displayed has elicited confidence
in his people (members of the House) from all the geopolitical areas. He seems
to command the respect of all the political parties that have representation in
“He must be doing something pleasing to the ACN, CPC and
some members of his party, PDP. Some of us consider him very attractive and we
will be very proud to present him as somebody to be looked at for possible
leadership of this country.
“Somebody like Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, if he was young and
interested in this type of thing, we would have been happy to present him. But
he is known to say ‘no’ to political leadership right from the time when he was
in the military.
“If the Governor of the Central Bank, Lamido Sanusi, retires
from the bank, where he has established himself as an upright and fearless
Nigerian, convincing the most brilliant minds that he can compete with anybody
in the world, he is the kind of people Nigeria should be looking for.
“I am told that the Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu,
has indicated to some people that he wants to become President. He hasn’t told
me or the public. I hear that the Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, wants
to run and I also hear of the Governor of Bauchi, Isa Yuguda. As far as I’m
concerned any of these gentlemen is eminently qualified to run for the
presidency of Nigeria.”
When contacted, the ACF declined comments on the issue
stating that it was too early to talk about 2015 general elections.
The spokesman for the forum, Mr. Anthony Sani, said
promoting 2015 politics would heat up the polity.