President Goodluck Jonathan
Hon. Idris Maiyaki, National Coordinator, Concerned Arewa Patriots (CAP), spoke with Mohammed Aminu, on national issues Excerpts:
Campaign posters of President Jonathan recently appeared in many locations in Abuja. Although, the authorities have denied, what do you think?
As President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is highly qualified to contest come 2015. This is because the constitution has not disqualified him. In a democracy, there must always be contestants.
President Jonathan is a democrat and I think he is acting in tandem with the constitution. He is qualified to contest in 2015 but the timing of the release of posters is hasty. The choice is that of the people when the chips are down because it is the masses that will decide who will become the president. What we are doing as a group is to rally round people of like minds from the North ahead of 2015. In other words, what we are saying is that we should come together and present a credible and formidable candidate for the North that will confront Jonathan.
Are you saying Arewa Patriots is poised to stop Jonathan come 2015?
The political legacies and heritage of peaceful governance of our nation by Northern leaders in the past had constrained pioneers of Arewa Patriots to bend backwards to the legacies of our founding fathers in order to chart a way forward. To be able to attain our goals, we have set out machineries on course to fish out the best candidate to pursue the prime position of presidency in 2015 in order to broker the peace and security of the nation which has been in crisis for some time now.
Our initiative is in favour of a timely resolution to correct all ill-feelings caused by selection of candidates based on sentiments, as well as re-balance the power sharing formula on merit. This will make the advent of a new formula during and after 2015 dispensation rancour free. So, towards the emergence of the Northern presidency come 2015,we are calling on all past heads of government, political office holders, legislators, youth and women at all levels to begin to consider, in order to generate overwhelming support for our common consensus come 2015.
Do you believe in the zoning agreement made in the PDP on rotation of power between the North and South?
Of course, it is the breach of that gentleman agreement that led to crisis in the nation. This is exactly why we emphasized that the breach of that agreement has caused insecurity and violence in the country. We have been harping on the truncated late Umar Yar’adua’s tenure and that is why we said Jonathan should have humbly allowed the North to complete Yar’adua’s tenure. So, what the North is shouting and have been asking for, is that it still has four years to complete and it should be allowed to finish its two terms so that we can have peace in the country, then power can move to other regions.
We believe that if it was honoured, then there would be peace in the country. We don’t want a situation whereby after election, there will be chaos and violence everywhere like what happened last year. So, what we are saying is that the North should be allowed to complete the remaining four year term. We believe Jonathan should honour that agreement.
Lack of unity has been the problem bedeviling the North. Do you see the North presenting a consensus candidate in 2015?
Of course, what I will say is that it is not easily attainable in a multi party system that we practice. You see, the problem or the issue is, which party are you going to tell not to contest an election? We will have to appeal to the sentiments of our people and let them know who is the best and credible among the candidates. But at the end of the day when the chips are down, we will be able to present a candidate with more followership and credibility. What we are saying is that the North should come together and talk with one voice this time around.
The current security situation in the North is a source of worry to all. What do you think is the way out?
The nation has survived ripples of political crisis - the civil war within the first decade of our independence stood as a watershed to our national unity. Indeed, military coups, counter coups, ethnic and partisan violence, intolerance and general apathy have repeatedly truncated our peaceful coexistence with serious consequences on governance in the polity. Moreover, inequality, corruption, injustice and greed had characterized our national psyche to the point that, over the years, the insecurity and threat to our national unity have become the order of the day, detracting the nation from the vision of our founding fathers.
So, after careful assessment of the present uncertainties that dominate the environment and the atmosphere of the nation today, we had painstakingly resolved to promote the re- emergence of the positive, patriotic ideals of our founding fathers, which will henceforth discourage every atmosphere of crisis in our country even as we gradually approach the next political dispensation by 2015.
Northern governors are at loggerheads with their Southern counterparts over the issue of State Police. What is your view on that?
My own view about police generally is that it should be well equipped. If you have visited Britain, you will observe a well motivated and disciplined police force. The orientation is so high that they are friends of the society and detect crime promptly but much is not done in Nigeria by our police. In fact, if you move around the roads in Nigeria, you pity the condition of these policemen under the hot sun.
You see policemen with archaic guns while armed robbers are moving with sophisticated arms. The issue that should be addressed is to get the police force to a level that it should be comparable to others in developed countries and that is what bothers the citizens. It is not about having a regional or local government police that matters but the priority is how to improve the police and their performance.