President Goodluck Jonathan
John Shiklam â€¨in Kadunaâ€¨
An umbrella body for northern minorities, the Middle Belt Dialogue (MBD), yesterday accused President Goodluck Jonathan of allegedly betraying the region and urged the Niger Delta people to call their son to order.
The MBD in a statement made available to THISDAY in Kaduna yesterday, lamented that in spite of the massive support the people of the Middle Belt gave Jonathan in the 2011 elections, he has decided to turn his back against them to appease those “who are vehemently and violently opposed to him.”
The statement signed by Mr. Emma Endazo, on behalf of the Central Committee of the MBD, also accused the president of allegedly refusing to give assistance to Middle Belt communities traumatised by the post-election violence for voting him.
“Jonathan has gone out of his way to placate those who vigorously, albeit violently, opposed his election as president, and promised to make the country ungovernable, should he win the 2011 election,” the statement said.
The latest action of the president which the group described as shocking and disappointing was the recent nomination of the governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Kebbi State during the 2011 elections, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki (SAN), as a ministerial nominee from the state in place of Brig. Gen. Bitrus Ushe, who had earlier been nominated but dropped on the grounds of religious and sectional sentiments.
According to the MBD, the reason for dropping Ushe who is from the Christian dominated Zuru senatorial zone of the state, is because of his tribe and religion, stressing that Jonathan has acted against the Zuru senatorial district which voted for him massively in 2011.
According to the statement, “the bulk of the 369,198 votes the president got in the 2011 elections were from Zuru area. After his swearing in ceremony President Goodluck Jonathan had nominated the then National Chairman of the PDP, Dr Haliru Bello and the people of Zuru did not bat an eyelid, and upon Dr Haliru’s resignation, Brig. Gen. Bitrus Usher was considered as a possible replacement”.
The MBD noted that “When this became public knowledge, the Chairman of the PDP in Kebbi State, Alhaji Mansur Shehu, objected to the possible nomination, saying Ushe was not acceptable to the party because they ( in the PDP) did not know him as bonafide PDP member, in spite of the fact that it is public knowledge that the General is a card carrying member of the PDP and actively worked to ensure that President Jonathan got the 36 per cent of the votes he got during the April 2011 elections”.
The statement stressed further that “it is now clear that President Jonathan denied General Ushe his supporter the ministerial nomination because he is a Middle Belter, a Dakarkar by tribe and to a Christian!”
“The only sin of the Zuru people” the MBD stated further, “ is that they are a minority like their brothers and sisters in Gombe, Yobe, Niger, Adamawa, Bauchi, Kaduna, Borno, Kogi etc, whose support and vote for the president has been rewarded by the denial political appointments, which he prefers to give to the areas, and peoples who voted against him, and organized violent attacks on his supporters, killing and maiming several thousands and destroying their properties”.