The Arewa Consultative Forum and the Northern Elders’ Forum on Wednesday defended their opposition to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan when he contested the 2011 and the 2015 presidential elections.
The groups said they had no regrets for their position in the two elections as Jonathan and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, jettisoned the power shift policy.
The spokesman for NEF, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, told Punch that the forum never hid the reason for working against Jonathan, as according to him, “We told him (Jonathan)why we worked against him,” he stated.
He added that the forum expected the former President to respect the zoning formula shortly after the death of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua but regrettably, Jonathan and his party reneged on the zoning agreement.
The former Ahmadu Bello University vice-chancellor, stated, “Yes, it is true that Northern Elders’ Forum worked against Jonathan and we told him why.
“They themselves (PDP) admitted that they made a mistake in reneging on the power shift and why what happened happened,” the spokesman said.
On its part, the ACF adduced the same reason for working against the former President and his party, saying Jonathan contested in 2011 and 2015 against the arrangement of his party that zoned the presidency to the North.
The National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim-Biu, said the former President’s assertion that the North worked against him was odd, considering the “circumstances at that time.”
“It is on record that Jonathan contested the 2011 and 2015 polls against the zoning arrangement of his party that zoned the presidential slot to the North.
“Therefore, his assertions that Northern leaders and socio-political groups in the North worked against his presidency is rather odd, considering the circumstances at that time.
“Yet the ruling party secured 25 per cent in most states of the North. It may interest you to know that his party has since admitted the oversight in the party winning game plan.”
He added, “This clearly means that leaders should always honour their words with deeds if they want to earn the respect of their followers.”
Jonathan, in his new book, ‘My Transition Hour’ had said that he battled opposition from Northern leaders and socio-political groups, which felt he was usurping power from the region.