2015 Poll: President Jonathan cannot buy us over – Northern elders

GEJThe Northern Elders Forum has reacted to media reports that President Goodluck Jonathan had allegedly bribed some top northerners to back his 2015 second term ambition.

Spokesman for the forum, Dr. Paul Unongo, said nobody has made any attempt to buy over the northern elders.

Unongo told Punch that Governor Babangida Aliyu’s claim that he had a list of 400 northern leaders who had been bought over by Jonathan should be clarified.

He said, “I can speak only for the elders’ forum. At the level of the elders’ forum, I don’t think anybody can buy us and I don’t think anybody tried to buy us. What we have always tried to do is to reconcile people. It takes maturity for people to reconcile others. We have become elders and know that there is so much bad blood and we try to reconcile people.

“I like people who make speculations to clarify their speculations themselves. I have a lot of respect for Governor Aliyu Babangida. If he says such, he must have very good reasons. He is in a better position to clarify that.”

He said the northerners respect the decision of the rebel Peoples Democratic Party governors who moved to the All Progressives Congress, saying the move was a welcome development to the country’s democracy.

He said, “No party should field candidates, give these candidates the opportunity to be leaders in their states and then treat them as though they are not important. They have decided to fight back; to say though they won elections on the platform of the PDP, they won their elections without Jonathan and Bamanga Tukur.

“It’s a pity that a political party at this time can tell large sections of the society that they are not needed. It is a terrible development in that direction. But in terms of political growth and development, it is a tremendously a good thing that has happened to Nigeria. I support them for their courage. They have done a courageous thing that Nigerians should support.”