Thursday, August 22, 2013
There ‘ll be mayhem if Jonathan rigs 2015 polls – Junaid Mohammed
the trio of Mohammed Abba-Gana, Ameh Ebute and Lawrence Onoja for
asking the North to tarry till 2019 before angling for power shift to
the region, calling them political mercenaries.
Mohammed also stated there will be mayhem in Nigeria should President
Goodluck Jonathan and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, rig
the 2015 election.
It will be recalled that Gana, a former Minister of the Federal
Capital Territory, FCT, and PDP chieftain from Borno State, Ebute, a
former senator in aborted third republic from Benue State and Onoja
who himself was a soldier and military administrator of Plateau and
Katsina states, had made solidarity comments for President Jonathan's
second term in office, asking the north to wait till 2019.
Speaking withVanguardin a telephone chat, Mohammed, who is also the
National Coordinator of the Coalition of Northern Politicians,
Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, said Gana, Ebute and Onoja
were not speaking for the north but serving their own self-interests
to earn themselves a place in Jonathan's Presidency.
Calling him a political mercenary and sheer minority from the Middle
North, Mohammed particularly regretted that Onoja, who had a
commendable career in the military and presided over the affairs of
two northern states, Plateau and Katsina, could now stoop so low to
play politics of tribes and religion.
He said Onoja lacked the temerity to speak for the north, having been
a serial loser of elections since he debuted into politics.
He said: "First of all, I have some respect for Onoja, he is a soldier
and now trying to be a politician. But I think it's an insult for
people with similar background, opportunity, soldiers who play like
mercenaries, as a former Governor of Plateau and Katsina states, who
are now rediscoveringpolitics like a business and who can pose or
could claim to speak for any part of the country".
"It is on record that Onaja has contested elections in the past,
including the last election we had in 2011 and he lost. In fact, he
lost to Senator David Mark, the President of the Senate. So, if Onaja
and his likes were to claim to speak for the whole Middle Belt, that
in my view is questionable, uncharitable and utter shamelessness.
"For one, even in Benue, the tribes he comes from, the Idomas are
minority. The majority ethnic group in Benue is the Tivs who are
about 55 percent of the population of Benue State and within the
remaining 45 percent, his own tribe constitutes less than 20 percent.
"Even within that, the Idomas are a constellation of so many tribal
groups. There are about seven or eight identified tribal groups of the
Idomas. So for a man with that background both personally and a group
background to claim to speak for the Middle Belt is sheer nonsense.
"What he was referring to, I don't even have the courage to say it, is
the claim by some of the politically ambitious and opportunistic
people in the Middle Belt who claim that every northern minority is
automatically a Middle Belter.
"They include people from Kebbi, Adamawa and Yobe states, including
Borno. So, in effect, what they are saying is that any northerner who
is a Christian must be a member of the Middle Belt Forum. And that is
"They claim that anybody who is so, so, and so, automatically is so,
so, and so, is sheer nonsense. The ACF who is Arewa Consultative Forum
claims that every Northerner is automatically a member of ACF.
"If that were to be the case, then, there is no body who is a member
of ACF. If everybody is a member of any group, then nobody is a member
of that group.
The most valued claim in being a member, it must be done openly.
Peoplemust go and identify themselves in the group rather than stay on
the sideline and talk rubbish."
Mohammed also took swipe at Gana and Ebute, saying they, like Onoja,
displayed religious chauvinism through his recent statement, were all
seeking various appointments in Jonathan's government.
According to Mohammed, the fact that the northern elites hailed from
the zone by 'accident of geography does not make them mouthpiece of
He stressed that they were doing their "dirty jobs in the Jonathan's
He said: "The fact of the matter is that they are northerners by
accident of geography but define their economic interests now, that
has been served by identifying and doing their dirty job in the
With a voice laced with seriousness, the former lawmaker said there
wouldbe mayhem in the country should Jonathan rig his way through in
"Let me say this, if without the consent of the law, they rig the
election the way they rigged 2011 election, there will be mayhem in
"The only way he can be President against the law explicitly is to
connive with the way he did with Jega's INEC to rig the election and
that has been the pattern since 1999 when Obasanjo came. It hasn't
"The only way PDP will win election anywhere is by rigging the
election. If they do that in 2015, there will be mayhem in Nigeria,"