• Threatens To Deal With Belgore On President’s Alleged Tenure Extension ‘Plot’
• Presidency Describes Claim As Mischief
NORTHERN political and opinion leaders have been meeting, with a pair of issues on their advertised menu: insecurity and poverty in the North.
But watchers of the polity have noted that behind the closed doors were discussions connected to the 2015 elections, particularly the presidential contest.
Truly, events of the past week have lent credence to this permutation, with several media reports credited to topnotch leaders of the region, alleging plans by President Jonathan to extend his tenure beyond 2015.
The presidency denial of the claimed plot has done little to erase the suspicion of the North that Jonathan will elongate his stay in Aso Rock beyond 2015.
Dr. Junaid Mohammed, who heads a group of Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, spoke to The Guardian on the steaming topic.
He stated that some top personalities in the North had been contracted to achieve President Jonathan’s alleged plot to remain in power after 2015, warning that they would deal with the said northerners.
However, the presidency has denied the claims of Mohammed and others.
Dr. Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, told The Guardian yesterday that, “the terms of reference for the Belgore committee are in the public domain and cannot be speculated on, except for mischief and for those who want to play politics with the issues of constitution amendment.”
He said the Belgore committee, essentially, “is to look at previous positions for harmony, collate and advise government in its recommendations.”
“The committee and the executive do not have powers to amend the Constitution,” he stressed, adding that, “for anybody to now come up and make wild claims about a committee that has not submitted its report is more of mischief than anything else.”
“Secondly, the issue is to stress the point that this is an administration that has not completed its first year in office, that has a transformational agenda and has been doing its best to remain focused on that agenda.
“For a group not to see this commitment means that it has a sinister motive, and is only attempting to distract, but the administration remain focused,” he said.
Abati noted that tenure was a constitutional matter and the debate did not start with Jonathan.
“There can be no problem with the president expressing an opinion or suggesting a proposal on tenure, having regard to the bitter politicking, stress and obsession people have with election matters at the governorship and presidential,” he said.
“The issues have been debated and we have stressed that it is up to the people and the National Assembly to decide. We should be able to separate ignorance from politics,” he added.