In what appears to be the building of the support base of President Goodluck Jonathan in Northern Nigeria, key leaders of the zone met in Kaduna to declare their support for the President and his deputy and also chart a way to build a coalition for the President’s second term.
The politicians were former governors, ministers and senators from seven northern states who said that their meeting was meant to neutralize the effects of the promotion of APC in the region.
Those who attended the meeting said that they in full support of Jonathan and his Vice, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, and distanced themselves from the position of both the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, and the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, that the presidency must return to the North in 2015.
However, among those who attended the meeting included Senator Saidu Kumo (Gombe), Abdullahi Gumel (Jigawa), Alhaji Rabiu Bako, Senator Zeego Azeez, Bawa Magaji Kufana, and Saleh Annur- all from Kaduna State.
Others included Senators Jubrin Donguwa and Hamisu Musa (both from Kano), while Alhajis Aminu Jambo and Abdullahi Garus came from Katsina State.
From Kebbi State were Bala Gwandu, Bala Kaoje, Samaila Sambawa, just as Ambassador Ladan Shuni, Yusuf Suleiman and Ahmed Mohammed Gusau came from Sokoto State.
However, Sherrif Abdullahi Gashua from Yobe also attended the gathering for Jonathan and Sambo even as those who attended from Zamfara State included Faruk Ahmed Gusau, Col Bala Mande, rtd; Lawani Zurmi and Hon. Matawallen Maradun.
Alhaji Ahmed Gusau, who spoke in an interview shortly after the meeting said that the North had benefited a lot from Jonathan’s presidency, pointing out that the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, would showcase such benefits when it was time for campaign.
He further said that the North did not belong to ACF or NEF alone as there other stakeholders, wondering where the north as a whole met and decided to vote against Jonathan as claimed by NEF leaders.