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Why North is skeptical of Jonathan’s Acting Presidency

By Abdulsalam Muhammad
Going by recent development in the polity,there is no doubt that the on- going power play at Aso rock over the plight of ailing President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has angered the Northern elite who were convinced of ‘hi_tech conspiracy’ to rig the Hausa/Fulani dominated conservative region out of power through the back door.

The emotions are high, and one can smell the hatred on the streets and cities of the Northern region.  The reasons are not far fetched. It is borne out of the fear founded on what the Northern elites have come to identify as a ‘false start’ by the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who was conferred with presidential powers by the federal legislatures some weeks ago.

Until lately, leading critics from the region had thrown their support for the transmission of power to the Vice President following the long absence of President Yar’Adua in the country. The likes of Farouk Adamu Aliyu, former minority leader of the House of Representatives, and several leading lights from the region went to court to force the transmission of power to the Vice President.

Coincidentally, the tone changed soon after the wishes of majority Nigerians was actualized, and in a dramatic turn of event, Alhaji Farouk Adamu Aliyu who marched the streets of Abuja along side Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka went back to court seeking to nullify the action of his former colleagues stressing that the process adopted by the law maker was ‘illegal, and a nullity’.

Farouk’s  about turn speaks volume of the nature of an average northerner who is undoubtedly gifted with an in-depth knowledge of power play in a complex polity like Nigeria . And the question that crop up was what must have gone wrong, why and how has this affected the relationship of the Acting President with the politically conscious region ?.

There is no gain saying the fact that the North has a sophisticated illiterate audience, no thanks to British and some European powers, and United States of America that committed millions of tax payers money to keep the region abreast with daily happening across the world over the half century by dedicating a special services on its  radio stations to the cause.

It appears that there is an orchestrated plan by the northern elites to mobilize the average man in the region to join in the emerging war against the Jonathan Presidency.

While an ordinary man in the street view Jonathan ascension to power as an attempt to dupe the north, an elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai maintained that the issue is beyond Jonathan, stressing that ‘its about the North and South’ struggling to control and manipulate each other to advantage.

Alhaji  Yakasai who was former Liaison officer toformer president  Alhaji Shehu Shagari explains that the North is bent on maintaining every tenet of agreement that gave the South the Presidency for 8 years under Obasanjo.

“We are not talking of Jonathan, the issue is that the South had it for 8 years under Obasanjo, and the North should be allowed to have its own term of 8 years irrespective of current happening”, Tanko Yakasai explains.

Alhaji Yakasai accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo for scuttling the process that gave him 8 years in the presidency, stressing that his likes in the North are only trying to compel the PDP hierarchy to adhere to the gentleman agreement reached by the party on rotational presidency in 1999.

He accused the South of exploiting its vast media resources to unleash a war on a region that out of magnanimity conceded power to a Southerner in the interest of a united and strong nation.

Yakasai stated that it is only normal for the region to fight back, maintaining that anything short of it will be harmful to regional interest,and must not be allowed to happen.

He described those who entered into agreement with Obasanjo as naïve, stressing that ‘gentleman agreement is only entered into with a gentlemen’.

“Obasanjo has never shown traces of a gentleman all his life and the founding fathers of the PDP made a fatal mistake by agreeing on such deal with Obasanjo. The long and short of it is that the South is fighting to scuttle our chance and we are trying to resist them in a civilize way”,  he explained.

Despite the submission by Yakasai, an average man in the street believes that Jonathan Presidency is a return of Obasanjo to power through back door, and the Acting President’s much publicized meeting with the former Nigerian strongman within the very week of his acting capacity eroded the North’s confidence and trust in Jonathan.

The changing tide in the North/ South dichotomy has forced many Northern  critics of President Yar’Adua to tread softly, and rebuffed entreaties to comment on the development.

Idi Mamuda, National President of the Northern Youth Progressive in a chat with Vanguard declare that Goodluck Jonathan had within the very week of his acting capacity displayed ‘ethnic agenda’ through his actions and pronouncements.

Mamuda stated that  it is unbelievable that the man we expected to be fair to all unleashed his anger on the region by reshuffliing cabinet ministers and reversing contracts commissioned by his living boss’

An analyst, Isa Danmadami told Vanguard that they are opposed to Jonathan presidency because of ‘a conscious effort by the Southerners to ‘fraudulently rig the North out of power’, explaining that the North will resist attempt to have a replay of Cameroonian’s example in Nigeria politics.

“We are aware of happenings in the country, and the conscious effort to revisit Paul Biya’s treatment on the North. This I assure you we will be resisted. It won’t be allowed to happen’, Danmadami explained.

As it is stands today, the North is unified against Jonathan’s acting Presidency, and may employ the services of  reactionary elements within the larger group to prosecute the war. Head or tail Nigeria has to watch it to avoid the express way to Kigali .


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