NewsWest AfricaNigeria: Goodluck walks tightrope ahead of 2015 election


Posted on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 14:28

Nigeria: Goodluck walks tightrope ahead of 2015 election

By Konye Obaji Ori

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan successfully  ran for the presidency following the death of President Alhaji Shehu Yar’AduaNigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is walking a political tightrope pulled by the two major ethnic groups in the country who are demanding the presidency in 2015 where he will be seeking a second term.


In  the east, the Igbos argue that the grievances of Nigeria's 1967 civil war  can only be atoned by the election of an Igbo president in 2015.

In  the north, Hausa's say a return of power to their region  in 2015 will amend the wrongs done by Jonathan's rejection of the zoning arrangement of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and his decision to contest last year's presidential election.

Jonathan is from the Niger Delta region.

Northern Demand

An unwritten rule in the ruling PDP party has seen the presidency rotating between the northern and southern regions.

But following the death of President Alhaji Shehu Yar'Adua who hailed from the north, Jonathan as the then vice president successfully ran for the presidency.

His victory coincided with the rise of the insurgency by Islamist group, Boko Haram.

A member of the Northern Elders' Forum (NEF) Professor Ango Abdullahi, told reporters on Monday that Jonathan had betrayed the north and would not be supported in the next election.

"We in the north cannot trust Jonathan because of his attempt to deny the zoning formula he was a signatory to in 2003.

"The zoning agreement effectively disqualified Jonathan from contesting the 2011 election on moral grounds," Abdullahi told the local Vanguard newspaper.

Analysts said there was also  deep-seated anger running across the region over Jonathan's alleged betrayal and tampering with the political economic interest of the region.

"Despite all the crises and problems in many parts of the north, Mr. President has never for once visited to see the victims or provide for their needs," Abdullahi added.

"The north expected him to have completed Yar'Adua's tenure and step down in 2011 for the region to complete its term but he bought over some northern lackeys to say that he could contest the election."

Abdullahi said the North was angry with Jonathan because they felt he had let them down in many respects, chief among them being manipulation of the political process to emerge as the PDP presidential candidate and failing to provide the needed leadership for the country.

"I can assure you that the north will not sit back for 2011 to repeat itself. That is what I can say at this point in time, we cannot support someone who reneged on a gentleman's agreement that disqualified him from contesting in the election on purely moral grounds," he said.

Eastern Demand

Orji Uzor Kalu, a former governor of the south eastern state of Abia said: "Forty eight years after the civil war it is an insult for somebody to tell you that Igbos cannot be president.

"If all these tribes can be president, who among them is more qualified than an Igbo man; we are the salt of this nation, we are the best thing that happened to this nation."

Kalu believes Jonathan must be succeeded by an Igbo when his term ends in 2015.

Abdullahi also believes that Jonathan must be succeeded by a Hausa when his term ends in 2015.

However, political advisor to the President, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak warned against any attempt by the north to stop Jonathan in 2015.

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