The National Chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, Alhaji Mohammed Aliko has accused some members of both the ACF and the Northern Elders Council, NEC, of betraying the north by endorsing President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term in office, contrary to the north’s position that it was their turn to rule the country in 2015.
Speaking in Kaduna yesterday during the opening ceremony of ACF’s annual general meeting, Aliko said some ACF and NEC members have betrayed the North by meeting President Jonathan and affirming their support for him for the 2015 general elections. He also decried the ongoing political campaign ahead the elections, saying it was affecting the quality of governance in the country.
“It is very sad that the Presidency has employed the divide and rule tactics against the North. It is very glaring, because we noticed with dismay that some members of this organisation have gone to the President and assured him that he must contest for 2015 election,” Aliko said.
“We are really surprised that some northerners that went there are also members of ACF. I am speaking particularly of two gentlemen. The two gentlemen I am referring to, one is a member of the ACF and the other is of the Northern Elders’ Council. The ACF member is General Lawrence Onoja, rtd. He was actually part of the group that went to see the President (with elders of the South-South). Also, one of the Northern Elders Forum, is Senator John Wash Pam. He was there.
“We are surprised that they have really gone to see the President. We are particularly sad because General Onoja is here with us in ACF. We went to Maiduguri together when we went to see Dr. Ahmed Datti, (the President, Supreme Council of Sharia in Nigeria, SCSN) and Onoja was with us.
“He (Onoja), also made it possible for us when we went to Maiduguri to meet the leaders of the Joint Task Force, JTF, and we had a long discussion with them till the early hours of the morning. The military had problems with the Maiduguri people and we thought that if we intervened, things would be better.
“That is not all, we have gone with Onoja to every meeting we have held and he knows what the North wants. Now for him to turn round to say the President must contest in 2015, using the word, must, is very sad for us in ACF,” he said.
Speaking further, Aliko expressed the ACF’s position on the early start to 2015 politics. “It is the considered view of the ACF that starting politics of 2015 two years earlier is counterproductive, since apart from heating up the polity, such early start can distract governance, more so that INEC is yet to give the green light for political activities to begin.”