By Nwakpa O. Nwakpa
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has described Dr Babangida Aliyu, the immediate-past governor of Niger State as a pathetic liar always ready to put words to fit his warped narrative of history.
Aliyu had recently alleged that northern governors belonging to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had in 2015 resolved not to support Dr Jonathan for supposedly violating an agreement not to seek another term in 2015.
Dr. Aliyu’s claim has been rebutted by Sen. Jonah Jang who was governor of Plateau State at that time.
However speaking through Reno Omokri, a former aide, in a statement, Jonathan dismissed Aliyu’s claim positing that he lacked the political gravitas to secure victory for the PDP, stressing that PDP lost the 2011 presidential election in Aliyu’s home state just as Jonathan lost the votes in the primary election in the state.
Former Gov Aliyu was equally unable to position his chosen successor as the All Progressives Congress won the 2015 governorship election in the state.
Daring Aliyu to either provide documentary evidence or in the alternative witnesses to the agreement, Omokri said: “Babangida Aliyu is a pathetic fellow. He has become a broken record and, sadly, he feels that is the only way to remain relevant.
“Let me break his claim down for you in a way that it will be so crystal clear that he is lying.
“There was no such agreement, whether written or oral. Since he says it was written, then let Mr. Babangida Aliyu produce it.
“If he changes his statement and says it was not written after all, but actually verbal, then I challenge him to name witnesses.
“Mr Aliyu says the agreement the northern governors had with former President Jonathan was for him to finish off President Yar’Adua’s first term between May 6, 2010 and May 29, 2011, and then contest for only one term between May 29, 2011 and May 29, 2015.
“If this is true, then how come former President Jonathan lost the votes of Niger State at the Peoples Democratic Party presidential primary of January 13, 2011,” he asked Aliyu.
“How come, also, that former President Jonathan lost the actual presidential election, which held on April 16, 2011 to the candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, Muhammadu Buhari, in Niger State?
“General Muhammadu polled 652,574 votes to then President Jonathan’s 321,429 in Niger State in 2011. He got more than twice the number of votes secured by former President Jonathan,” he said of the votes recorded by the PDP candidate in the state where Aliyu was governor.
“So, even if we want to say for argument’s sake that there was such an agreement, of which there was no such agreement, wouldn’t Governor Babangida Aliyu have been expected to have kept to his side of the bargain?
“The truth is that not only was there no such agreement, but Babangida Aliyu is such a perfidious character that does not even know that his current disposition contradicts his earlier statements.
“For example, in Mr. Segun Adeniyi’s book, Against the Run of Play: How an Incumbent President Was Defeated in Nigeria, published in 2017, Mr. Aliyu gave a completely different reason for working against former President Jonathan.
“According to Mr. Aliyu, the Obama administration had invited 12 governors from northern Nigeria to sound them out on their commitment to the plot to unseat the then President of Nigeria. In that book, the former Niger State governor said, The Americans had resolved not to support Jonathan. They just wanted to size us up for the level of commitment to regime change.
Noting the extent went to get foreigners against Jonathan, Omokri said:
“Mr. Aliyu revealed in that book that he was an unpatriotic individual, who held meetings with a foreign government to undermine his own home government. He basically admitted to treason. Now, how can such a fellow be taken seriously by people who believe in the unity of Nigeria?
“Witnesses at that meeting revealed that the statements made by then governors Aliyu and Murtala Nyako were so dangerous to Nigeria’s unity that it prompted a strong rebuttal from Gombe state governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, who was also present,” Omokri observed in his claims of how Aliyu went against President Jonathan.