By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA—Erstwhile Minister of Finance Minister and the leader of the Northern Political Leaders Forum, Mallam Adamu Ciroma has said the North would use every legal and democratic means to scuttle the 2011 presidential ambition of the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mallam Ciroma who made the vow while speaking in an interview with the Hausa service of Voice of America, VOA, said Jonathan’s ambition is dishonourable because he is pursuing it at the expense of the North, which was entitle to eight years under the zoning agreement for power sharing between the North and the South.
He particularly accused former President Obasanjo of being mainly responsible for the current political polarization in the country caused by Dr. Jonathan’s insistence to run at the instigation of General Obasanjo. He said it is unfair to deny the North the right to complete its own turn of eight years after the South did its own under President Obasanjo.
The former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, described Obasanjo as an ingrate by pushing Jonathan to run, despite the obvious consequences of creating political bitterness and division, which the abandonment of zoning could produce.
Ciroma explained that he personally met Obasanjo to protest against his role in urging Jonathan to run and reminded him that the peace and unity he fought to keep in the Nigerian civil war are now threatened by crisis caused by the decision to unilaterally abandon zoning.
He, however, admitted that, since Obasanjo didn’t want to see reason, the North is not leaving things to chances. He said even if President Jonathan manipulates the party primaries and eventually emerges as PDP Presidential candidate in 2011, the North would deploy other options, including a consensus candidate to command popular support.
Ciroma warned that Jonathan could face a mass protest votes from the electorate who may feel short-changed by the current scheme to abandon zoning. According to the leaders of the Northern Political Forum, the electorate will ultimately decide between a candidate of honour and one that elevates and pursues dishonour.