AS the emergence, on the streets of Abuja, of President Goodluck Jonathan’s posters for the 2015 election continues to generate comments and controversies, a political group, Concerned Arewa Patriots (CAP), believing that the President may have clandestinely flagged off his campaign, has vowed to mobilise Northerners to beat him in the elections.
The group has, therefore, called on northerners to unite and support the move “to chase him out of the Villa through election.”
This is just as the Conference of Political Parties (CNPP) has urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to give Nigerians a break, saying it has become obvious that the President is running for a second term.
In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, the CNPP said: “All we demand is that there should be free, fair and transparent elections in 2015; most importantly, that the President should not either covertly or overtly use his high office to manipulate the electoral process.”
The convener and pioneer national leader of the group, Mallam Maiyaki Idris, said in Kaduna yesterday that to “be able to appreciate the path to lead to our goals of unity and sustainable development, we have set out machinery on course to fish out the very best of our own, to seek for and pursue the prime position of Presidency come 2015, to broker the peace and security of the nation, which has been in crisis for some time now.
“We make this humble appeal as an initiative for all agencies of the North to begin to consider, in order to generate our total cooperation and support for our consensus candidate come 2015,” he said.
Idris argued that although Jonathan could contest for the Presidency, the incumbency factor should not discourage the North from fielding a consensus candidate for the position, alleging that the North had suffered a lot under the current dispensation.
He said: “My own religion believes that power belongs to Almighty Allah and Allah gives it to whosoever He wishes and He can take it at any moment…”
Several northern leaders have lately been holding political meetings and speaking about plans to produce a presidential material to wrestle power from Jonathan, if he decides to vie for the 2015 Presidency.
Said Idris: “God will still give power to who He wants, but God helps those who help themselves…
“What we are saying here now is that we should help ourselves… that somebody is an incumbent does not mean that automatically he has won the Presidency and that is what we are talking about.
“There must be election and rigging cannot succeed without our cooperation. We are the ones they give money to go and then they rig and get away.
“But if we say this time around we are not taking it, it has to be an election and if that level of awareness is created in the North, believe me we will win that election with the backing of Almighty Allah, because God created all of us and He has blessed us and not one particular individual…
“So, the issue of conceding to somebody is a weakness and it demoralises people.”
He added: “2015 is precious to us and we are seeing what is actually against us… It is a bitter lesson for us to accept what we are doing now.
“North ought to hold political power, but the North now is nothing in Nigeria. The economic power is the West, whether you like it or not. Take the statistics of the banks in this country, the financial houses, the corporate organizations; tell me who manages and who owns them.
“The commercial activities in this country are in the East. In my own local village, we have energetic boys, but even if it is anything, it is from the Igboman that I get it.
“We Northerners have come to a stage where we should sit down and reason and work as one, irrespective of religion or tribe.”
CNPP said it was only concerned with the protection of the inalienable right of Nigerians to elect leaders of their choice in 2015.
According to the statement: “We are least concerned about who becomes the presidential candidate of PDP and therefore the intra-party power tussle should not pollute our political landscape.
“For those who engage in a do-or-die battle to capture the PDP presidential ticket and rate it as election before the election, we advise they come out of such mundane thought, as the granite merger of the ACN, CPC, ANPP and other progressive forces will wipe out such hang-over.”
CNPP also demands the implementation of the core recommendations of the Uwais Electoral Reform Committee Report, alleging the Prof. Attahiru Jega-led Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was requesting for dictatorial powers to disqualify candidates, to muscle the opposition and cancel elections arbitrarily.
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