Jonathan signed single-term pact with PDP governors in 2011, Nyako insists

Former Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa
Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa

Murtala Nyako asks president to be a man of honour and not drag Nigeria into another civil war

The governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, has challenged President Goodluck Jonathan to be a man of ‘honour’ saying the president’s claim that he did not sign agreement with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors in 2011 to spend one term of four years is not true.

Mr. Nyako told journalists in Yola, the state capital, that Mr. Jonathan signed an agreement with them not to re-contest after his first term in 2015, and pledged to abide by it.

Mr. Nyako is the second northern governor to claim that Mr. Jonathan signed a single term pact with the PDP governors. The Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, had similarly claimed in an interview with a Kaduna-based radio station, Liberty FM, that the president signed a single-term pact with the governors in 2011.

According to the Adamawa State governor, there was an earlier agreement in 2003 that the north would produce the president between 2007 and 2011. He said Mr. Jonathan, who was then deputy governor of Bayelsa State, signed as number 73.

Mr. Nyako said when he was approached to sign the new agreement in 2011 that the president would not re-contest in 2015; he was reluctant to do so because he (Mr. Jonathan) did not pledge to respect the 2003 agreement. He said he was subsequently prevailed upon to sign.

“In the first place, when that agreement was brought for me to sign, I told them that this President (Jonathan), in the agreement signed in the year 2003, he was number 73,” the governor said.

“Did we not agree under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo that the term 2007 and 2011 belong to the North?

“He was number 73 as deputy governor of Bayelsa State, so when they came, they said I should sign, they said he had agreed that he would not contest in the year 2015.

“In the first place, I said I did not believe him because he didn’t give his pledge for the agreement signed in the year 2003. They said ah, ah, Baba Maimangoro. I said ok, I will sign. So I signed.

“After that, the Niger State governor took the paper to Jonathan and he signed. Obasanjo can confirm that he came here with Jonathan and pleaded with me to support Jonathan to contest the 2011 Presidential election.”

Mr. Nyako explained that it was Mr. Aliyu, Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State and others he did not name that brought the agreement to him to sign.

He stated that former President Olusegun Obasanjo accompanied Mr. Jonathan to prevail upon him (Nyako) to back the president who had already agreed to serve for one term.

He said, “Obj (Obasanjo) will tell you, he came here and pleaded with me to support Jonathan in 2011. He came here and virtually took an oath to serve only one term.”

The Adamawa governor, who said Mr. Aliyu was in the possession of the said agreement, upbraided the president for not being a man of honour, adding that such behaviour was capable of plunging the nation into another civil war.

“The Niger State governor has the agreement. We want to deal with people with honour, not people who want to drag us into civil war because of impunity, because of lawlessness, because of not fulfilling their pledges that will only take us to civil war,” he said.

“Leaders must be honest with their colleagues and the greater society. I have my craw craw from the first civil war and if there is need to develop another craw-craw in another civil war I will stand by.”

The governor also alleged that the declaration of a state of emergency in his domain was political because the state had the security situation under control.

According to him, Adamawa State was not even among the first seven states, out of a list of 12, that were having serious security challenges, stressing that Mr. Jonathan skipped several states to pick on his state for reasons he could not explain.

In February 2013, the Niger State governor said that Mr. Jonathan had an agreement with the PDP governors not to spend more than one year in office.

“What will be, will be in 2015. We must remind people of the promises they have made. When he (Jonathan) was going to declare, governors of PDP were brought together to ensure that we were all in the same frame of mind. Some of us, given the PDP zoning, were expecting that the northern states would produce the President for this number of years but God has done His own,” Mr. Aliyu had said.

“At that discussion, it was agreed that President Jonathan would serve one term and we all signed and when he went to Kampala, he said the same thing. But for now, President Jonathan has not declared his candidacy and we must not be speculating based on who those are benefiting from such a thing. I believe that we are all gentlemen enough and when the time comes, we will all sit down and see what the right thing to do is.”

But the president denied the claim with Mr. Jonathan, during a media chat, challenging Mr. Alyu and those making similar claims to produce the signed document.

Mr. Jonathan’s political adviser, Ahmed Gulak, also said Mr. Aliyu’s claim was false.

“President Jonathan did not sign such an agreement with anybody to the best of my knowledge,” he said. “The alleged agreement only exists in the figment of the imagination of somebody with presidential ambition.”

Mr. Jonathan also clarified that he had not taken a decision on 2015 saying he would decide on whether or not to contest this year.

The crisis in the PDP is traceable to the alleged pact the president signed with the governors. The crisis remotely led to the formation of the defunct New PDP, which seven of its governor floated.

The splinter group led by Abubakar Kawu, a former acting National Chairman of the PDP, has since fused into the All Progressives Congress, APC, with five of the governors enlisting their membership of the opposition party.

Those governors who joined the APC last year are Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers) and Mr. Nyako.

The remaining two governors, Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and Mr. Aliyu of Niger State remain in the PDP.

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