Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and governor of Niger State, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, at the weekend said though there is a prevailing ceasefire between the Presidency and the G-7 governors, the latter have not traded off their conditions for a peaceful resolution of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) crisis.
He spoke in Kaduna during the official commissioning of ‘Liberty Radio’. Aliyu said a ceasefire had only been declared to enable the party dialogue and see the possibility of amicable settlement of the matter.
Aliyu who is one of the G-7 and a member of factional new PDP, noted that being men of honour and northerners who respect agreement, the northern governors who form the nucleus of the G-7 have accepted to honour the outcome of the September 17, 2013 meeting held at the Aso Villa with the President.
“We all accepted that no more public discussion on the matter until and all aggrieved parties present their grievances on the table to discuss and find solution. I am a northerner from a royal family and we honour agreement. So, we stand by that agreement until circumstances proof otherwise,” he said.
Aliyu, however, maintained that it did not mean that the struggle by the G-7 for the resignation of the PDP chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, and the call on President Goodluck Jonathan not to run in the 2015 election, have been abandoned.
“We have started the war even though we are declaring temporary ceasefire; it is now left for Nigerians to come out and continue where we stopped,” he said.
Reacting to President Goodluck Jonathan’s proposed National Conference, he said that the North would not agitate for disintegration but can also survive as an independent nation.
The governor, while stressing that the North was going to fully take part in the much-awaited dialogue, said if Niger Republic and Chad that were identified to be among the poorest countries in the world could recently rise to discover oil, which is now serving some northern Nigerian states, then, the North could also survive on its own.
His words: “God is a just God; if oil can be discovered in Niger Republic, Chad and Cameroon, then there is no reason why there would not be oil in Niger, Sokoto, Maiduguri and Bauchi. “If you go to Niger State, 80 per cent of our land mass is arable land.
So, even if we decide to go back to agriculture alone, we will not only be able to feed our nation, but also have enough for export. “That notwithstanding, the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation is organising a committee on behalf of northern governors to look at some of the issues that may come up for discussion.
I believe each state shall set up similar committees so that we can adopt some positions that may guide our delegates”, Aliyu said.