The chances of North producing the next president brightened Thursday as the nineteen Northern Governors agreed to bury their differences and work together to produce a common presidential candidate.
The governors, at the end of their quarterly meeting held in Kaduna agreed not to allow what happened in 2011 to repeat itself in 2015, pointing out that they would unite against candidates from the south.
While the next Presidential is still three years away, there are fears that President Jonathan Goodluck and his advisers are trying to engineer another term of four years, even though he was allowed to contest to contest the last elections on the unwritten agreement that e would serve only one term in office.
Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, said: “We must be united more than ever to go into the 2015 elections as one entity with the aim of producing the president”. He then advised all governors and politicians in the north to remain focused and pursue issues of development rather than trivial issues that have led to the retrogression of the region in recent years.
Meanwhile, the prediction by former presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, General Muhammadu Buhari of a bloodbath should the 2015 election be rigged, the forum admonished political leaders in the country to be cautious about their comments on important national issues that may polarise the country.
“We want to caution eminent Nigerians against inflammatory statements capable of affecting our fragile unity and security. We must be concerned about the unity and development of the country in all ramifications,” forum said in a statement issued at the end of the meeting.
“May be those who may be too concerned have not looked at what other eminent Nigerians have been talking about. I saw one that said Nigeria is going to be Somalianised; I saw another one who has been talking like there would be war tomorrow. So, for me, that statement should be taken on its own value – do not go and do bad election,” Governor Aliyu said of Buhari’s comment.
He added: “I think that is the whole thing I will take there. All of us who are involved in elections, political parties, contestants and voters themselves, we must all be careful about what we say. But, again, like I said certain people in that position, certain vocabularies they use should be chosen carefully. So, both ways let’s take it on our own stride and ensure that future elections are seen to be transparent and are seen to be good”, he said.
On security in the North, the communiqué reads: “The level of insecurity in the northern states is alarming. The forum resolved to intensify efforts to find lasting solutions to the problems by reaching out to all stakeholders”.
On the major economic issues affecting the northern states, the communiqué said various committees have been set up to address them accordingly. The committees have been set up on agriculture, Textile industries and the New Nigeria Newspapers whose workers have been on strike for more than three months.