2011: North will support Jonathan if...

A northern group, the Northern Friends of the South South (NFSS) yesterday in
Lagos urged Acting President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to join the 2011
presidential race.

The founder and president of the organisation, Alhaji Suleiman Yerima strongly stated that it was false to say that the north would
not support him if he decides to run, saying that an average northerner is not
interest in who the leader of the country is but someone who can deliver
dividends of democracy to them.

He therefore, advised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not to use its zoning arrangement to exclude a credible Nigerian
like Dr. Jonathan from running the presidency on its platform if he decides to
run in 2011 as the party would be the loser is decides to contest under another
political party’s platform.

“We need change and that is want the masses want right now. The race should be an open thing, anyone who wants to run should come
out and run and the voters allowed to determine who rules them.

“Our group is made up of every group in the North. We have Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Kaduna,
Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and the rest of the states in the north. I don’t
just do things for doing sake. Funds are hard to come by, and there is nobody
that has given me a dime to run all the programmes I am carrying out at the
moment but, because Nigeria is my first love and I love this country more than
anything anybody can think of, I do anything that would make this country to
remain as one. America did a prediction that in 2015 Nigeria is going to break
up and recently the leaders of the Niger-Delta came up to say that if certain
things are not put in place they are going to pull out of Nigeria.

Yerima further said: “We are not saying that other aspirants should not run for
presidency in 2011. Our believe is that the Acting President as a citizen of
Nigeria has a right to contest under the constitution and should not be barred
by the PDP from running just because of its intra party zoning
arrangement.

Good enough, the Acting President has said that no law stops him from running if he chooses to do so.
Zoning is not a constitutional matter. It is a political arrangement by the PDP.
“Therefore, we advise the PDP not to use a gentleman agreement such as its zoning arrangement as instrument of
exclusion with which to shut out a good and credible Nigerian like Dr. Goodluck
Jonathan just because he is not from a particular area where the presidency is
zoned to.”

While appealing to the PDP to wave the zoning arrangement at the moment, Yerima said: “We are appealing to PDP to allow him to run for presidency
on the PDP platform but in event that they refuse to allow him run on the PDD
platform, he has the right to go to another party and contest for the
presidency. But we are not saying that Jonathan should go to another party but
we are appealing that the PDP should allow him run on its platform.”
Asked if he had the consent of the Acting President in the group’s clamour for him to
run, he said he did not need the endorsement of Acting President Jonathan to do
what is right for the nation.

“I don’t need to get any confirmation. I am a Nigerian and we the NFSS are all Nigerians and we have the right to voice out
whatever we feel is the right thing for Nigeria. That is why we are doing what
we are doing now and we would continue to put pressure on the Acting resident to
run for presidency in 2011″, he said.

He insisted: “Apart from that, many other people from other parts of the country are showing their support and are
ready to pressurize Jonathan to go for presidency on 2011. As far as Jonathan
wants to run let him come out as he would not stop them from holding their
prayers. A normal Hausa man does not want to know who is his leader, all he
wants is a leader who would provide them with all the necessities of life like
good roads, electricity and other infrastructures.

“That is just the truth and right now the North are ready to support the Acting President Goodluck
Jonathan if he decided to come out and run and we would continue to mount
pressure on the Acting president to come out and run because this country belong
to all of us and I see no reason why anybody would say it belongs to a group of
people at a particular period.

“In America, before Obama became the president who one earth believed he could ever be the president. Many people we ready to
bet with their lives that it was not yet time for a black man to be the
president of America”, he argued.

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