The 19 northern governors on Thursday rose in defence of the Presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari’s party on Wednesday had described the Jonathan administration as the “most corrupt ever,” in response to the Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party’s attacks on his person over a comment in which the retired General threatened bloodshed in 2015 if the government dared rig the elections.
The northern governors on Thursday said Buhari’s comment was in order, observing that many eminent Nigerians had made worse comments.
Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, Babangida Aliyu, during a question-and-answer session with journalists after the Forum’s meeting in Kaduna, noted that Buhari had only sought to keep the Federal Government on its toes in order to ensure a free-and-fair election in 2015.
Aliyu is the governor of Niger State and a member of the PDP. Like Aliyu, the majority of the northern governors belong to the PDP.
The PDP had said that Buhari was bloodthirsty and suffering from “combat withdrawal syndrome.”
Aliyu, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, explained that what Buhari meant was that govenment should not ‘go and do bad election.’
He noted that Buhari’s statement was subject to different interpretation and cautioned eminent Nigerians against further inflammatory statements that could heat up the polity.
He said, “In a democratic system every individual has his ways and there are many of us whose ways of communication are quite different from others. Give the same statement to somebody, he may have used a different vocabulary.
“Again, certain facts are understood, that if this happens that would happen, I think it is a natural thing to do. Maybe those who may be too concerned have not looked at what other eminent Nigerians have been talking about.
“I saw one that said Nigeria is going to be Somalianised. I saw another one who has been talking like there would be war tomorrow. That statement should be taken on its own value.
“All of us who are involved in elections – political parties, contestants and voters themselves – we must all be careful so that there would be a semblance of good in whatever we do. But, again, like I said, certain people are so much in that position, they should be careful with certain vocabularies they use. So, both ways let’s take it on our own strides and ensure that future elections are seemed to be transparent and are seemed to be good.”
Buhari had made his now controversial comment while hosting members of the CPC from Niger State who had paid him a courtesy visit in Kaduna.
“God willing, by 2015, something will happen. They either conduct a free and fair election or they go a very disgraceful way. If what happened in 2011 (alleged rigging) should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood,’’ he reportedly told his party men.
- The Punch