The Presidency has tongue-lashed Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum, NGSF, and governor of Niger State, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu over his allegation that the Presidency had penciled down over 400 prominent northerners for ‘settlement’ in return for their support of President Goodluck Jonathan’s reelection bid in 2015.
While the Presidency described Gov. Aliyu as a joker whose words should not be taken seriously, it accused him of rubbishing his office through frivolous allegations against Mr. Jonathan.
It would be recalled that while speaking at the 25th coronation anniversary of the Emir of Minna, Alhaji Umaru Bahago, last Saturday, Gov. Aliyu had alleged that the presidency had bribed about 400 prominent northerners to support President Jonathan in his alleged bid for re-election in 2015. He claimed that he would make the list public as soon as he obtained it.
He was quoted as saying: “We are looking for that list so that we will tell the people of the region that these are the people that want to betray you.
“We heard a rumour that some people have a list of 400 prominent northerners that they are going to settle and that they are sure if they settle the 400 everything will be okay in 2015.”
But in its response yesterday, Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Dr. Ahmed Gulak, recalled that the Niger State governor was in the habit of making unsubstantiated claims.
He specifically mentioned an allegation made by Gov. Aliyu several months ago that President Jonathan signed an agreement with northern leaders to serve only a term but when challenged to produce evidence in form of a copy of the signed agreement, he reneged.
“Nigerians should be able to know Aliyu Babangida for who he is. He is reckless with speech and fond of trying to malign the President. They should just ignore him for always trying to play to the gallery” Gulak said.
“I think that the Niger State Governor is rubbishing the high office which he occupies and should learn to respect his office”.
The presidential aide added that, “President Goodluck Jonathan does not need to bribe anyone to win election if he decides to seek a second term in office. The Jonathan that we know must go round the country and campaign as he has been doing rather than seek to induce anyone for votes”.