AS the nation prepares for the next general election, a strong indication emerged yesterday that some key northern traditional rulers, who spearheaded the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, are not ready to back his re-election in 2015.
The anger of the monarchs, Vanguard gathered, stems from what they see as a spirited attempt by the Presidency to deny an agreement President Jonathan allegedly reached with them before they gave their nod to his election in 2011.
A northern governor, who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity, pointed out that there was an unwritten understanding between the President and northern monarchs that he would not stay in office beyond 2015, if given the support to complete late former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s tenure and run for a term of four years.
The governor said it was wrong for those, who did not know what took place between the president and North to begin to whip up political sentiments, insisting that what transpired was a gentleman’s agreement that must be respected.
The governor said it was the unwritten undertaking reached between the North and Jonathan in 2011 that the Sultan of Sokoto made a veiled reference to at a meeting of Islamic scholars in Abuja last week.
The Sultan had said the North gave Jonathan a blueprint to work on and that they would evaluate implementation of same to decide on the way forward.
Kano politician, Dr. Junaid Muhammed, said Jonathan’s attempt to deny the deal he reached with the North was the basis for the renewed anger in the region.
Muhammed said: “That agreement is the basis of the anger against the President and they can no longer trust him. If an agreement with northern governors is not respected, what of the one the President had with the emirs and other leaders of the area that he would do a single term and return power to the North?
“It is left to Jonathan to show statesmanship and respect the deal before during and after his election because it is dangerous to disagree with emirs in the North.”
Niger State governor, Dr. Aliyu Babangida, was the first to accuse President Jonathan of trying to breach the agreement he reached with northern governors in 2011 to do a single term of four years, thereby setting the stage for a bitter confrontation with the President and his hordes of supporters, particularly his kinsmen from Ijaw ethnic nationality.
Some Niger Delta militants and youth leaders had threatened to cause mayhem should Jonathan be prevented from doing a second term.
Although they were cautioned by the National Assembly, an attempt to open investigation into the statement, which many saw as treasonable, met with serious resistance from the youth leaders who threatened further actions against the lawmakers.
There has been no word again on the matter from the legislature.