March 22, 2012
ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Kaduna[Sunnews]- From an uncommon quarter came a warning yesterday to the northern political elites already jostling for political power in 2015. Deposed Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Al-Mustapha Jokolo, said they should tarry a while and give the South-South another four-year term beginning from 2015.
Jokolo, who was deposed about seven years ago in a controversial circumstance and still fighting his deposition in court, told Daily Sun in an exclusive interview in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State capital, on Tuesday, that the North should forget the Presidency for another eight years.
He insisted that the North should only return to power at the federal level, after the Igbos too must have produced the President for one term of four years, beginning from 2019.
All these, according to him, are his own panacea for restoration of peace to the country, and to further strengthen the country’s claim of oneness without discriminating against any section or ethnic group.
This is even as he accused the likes of former military president Ibrahim Babangida (IBB), ex-vice president Atiku Abubakar, former Head of State Muhammed Buhari, former National Security Adviser (NSA) Aliyu Gusau, including all the northern governors, of being responsible for the spate of insecurity in the region, saying, if they had played their parts well as leaders in their respective times, the situation would certainly have been different.
He said: “The situation whereby all these leaders, who created these problems will now sit down and claim they want to find solution to the problems they created will no longer be acceptable to us. They should just bury their heads in shame, and allow the younger generations in the north, to take the driver’s seat.”
He also spoke on the recent defection of former governor of Kebbi State, Senator Mohammed Adamu Aliero, from the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), back to the PDP, saying that “it is our turn to laugh at him, and to laugh at Buhari, who handed over the party’s platform to him in the state, after what he did to him in the ANPP. We warned Buhari but he wouldn’t listen,” Jokolo added.
Below are the excerpts of the interview:
What is your take on the recent defection of Aliero from the CPC, back to the PDP?
Why don’t you just leave me out of these political talks. You know I am not a politician. Please, let me be.
But you are a major stakeholder in Kebbi State; as such, you should be concerned about what happens there.
Okay, will you have the courage to publish whatever I would say?
Why not, go ahead, so long as they are not libellous.
(General laughter) You see, Aliero is a serial political betrayer. There is nobody that has associated with him that he has not betrayed. You know he was in ANPP, on which platform he won election to be governor of Kebbi State in 1999. But this man was one of Obasanjo’s agents in the ANPP. He was one of those who betrayed Buhari in 2003.
Now, as we were approaching the 2007 elections, he had concluded plans to move to the PDP, so as to cover his tracks. But he was still attending ANPP meetings, just to jeopardise the party’s chances of making any impact in Kebbi, since he was moving out of the party.
He brought Saidu Dakingari with the hope that he could remote-control him. When that was not working, he connived with the former First Lady, (name witheld by us) to undo Dakingari. But Dakingari trusted in God, and in the end, God delivered him from their hands.
Through divine intervention, he got back the party’s machinery in the state, and he was nominated as the candidate for the 2011 governorship election. So, this was what angered Aliero and he had to leave the party for the CPC.
Now, after losing the election, he is coming back to the PDP. To do what? I don’t know, because Dakingari had won all his elections before now without Aliero. It is absurd to say that out of all the 36 states in the country, only the governorship election in Kebbi State was not free and fair.
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Having said that, however, it is good that he is returning to the PDP, after all the insults he had poured on the governor and the government. We will now wait to hear what he would be saying next. But his returning to the PDP will give us opportunity to laugh at him, and to also laugh at Buhari, because we warned him about Aliero, but he would not listen. Now he has abandoned him again. It is our turn to laugh at him, and laugh at Buhari, who handed over the party’s platform to him in the state after what he did to him in the ANPP. We warned Buhari but he wouldn’t listen.
We also hear that his return may have everything to do with positioning for 2015. What do you think?
Well, I don’t deal with speculation. Once the time comes and you are sure of your facts, ask me for my comment then, I will tell you. However, frankly speaking, I am aware some of our northern governors, including former Vice President
Atiku Abubakar are already jostling for the Presidency, come 2015. And I ask myself, what have they done for the North, to justify their aspiration?
Look at Atiku, for the eight years he was vice president, what did he do for the North and Islam, apart from the expensive university he built in Yola, which is not within the reach of the poor in the state? With what he is earning from all his investments, tell me what he has done for Islam and the North. Yet, these people will want to lord it over us in the name of North and Islam. I think they should just forget about 2015.
Look at TY Danjuma, the man is assisting Christianity with his wealth. He has singlehandedly built infrastructures for universities in the Middle Belt area. But what do we have from our own leaders? Nothing! They created Boko Haram and other security challenges we have in the north. Yet, the same people will now sit down and say they want to find solution to the problem. They should please give me a break. They should quietly retire to their homes and wait for their turn to die, and allow the younger generations to take over leadership in the region.
Since all these people; IBB, Gusau, Buhari, Atiku, Ciroma, and others in their category, have all failed us, they have nothing more to offer. The likes of IBB, Atiku, Buhari, Gusau, Ciroma, including all the governors, are responsible for the spate of insecurity in the North. If they had done the right thing, as leaders during their time, the situation we find ourselves today would certainly have been different. The situation whereby all these leaders, who created these problems, will now sit down and claim they want to find solution to the problems they created will no longer be acceptable to us.
They should just bury their heads in shame and allow the younger generations in the north to take the driver’s seat. Look, the truth is that if Mohammed Yusuf, (late Boko Haram leader) was not killed, all these people, including the former governors of some of the North-Eastern states, would have been exposed, and Nigerians would have had the opportunity of knowing the role they played in the whole thing.
If I heard you correctly, you are saying the north should forget about 2015 Presidency. Is that correct?
Look, not only 2015 but after 2015. They should not think of producing the president until after the South-East has produced the president in 2019. The South-South produces the oil for God’s sake. So, I am strongly advocating that for peace to reign in Nigeria, South-South must be given another term of four years in 2015. It must not necessarily be Jonathan, it can be anybody, but the Presidency must remain in the South-South by 2015.
The one year Jonathan spent before the 2011 election is part of Yar’Adua’s tenure, so this is just the first term of the South-South. The region should be given another term of four years after Jonathan’s first term. After that, the South-East should also be given another four years after South-South’s second term. It is after that that the north can now have it. And even in the north, it should go to the North-East, because we in the North-West have produced Nigeria’s president on too many occasions. I am talking of both military and civilian.
After North-East, it should go to the South-West, for another four years, from where it should come back to the North-Central, for another four years, from where it should go back to the South-East for another four years, before returning to the North-West. This is my own recipe for a lasting peace and unity in the country. Since we are talking about constitution review now, they should find a way of inserting it in the constitution, so that the Presidency would go round and every section or region will have a sense of belonging.
Are you sure northerners will not call for your head with this position of yours?
I don’t give a damn! Those who want to call for my head can as well go to hell. Don’t you think we should be honest enough by telling ourselves the truth? Tell me which Sardauna’s legacy is still standing today? Sardauna united the north but they have succeeded in dividing the north. I am prepared for whatever that will follow my position on this Presidency matter.