- Category: Politics
- Published on Friday, 13 August 2010 08:54
- Written by Admin
- Hits: 1434
FORMER military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar received the shock of their lives on Wednesday, following the refusal of the Northern Senators Forum (NSF) to back their ambition for the 2011 presidential race in line with the zoning arrangement of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Sources at the meeting held at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, said that the senators pointedly told the two leaders that they had not shown seriousness about their campaign for the number one seat and that their insistence alone was not enough.
A source said one of the senators told the ex-leaders that it was wrong of them to start canvassing zoning, when they had led Nigeria as a united entity before now.
Another senator was said to have told the two leaders that if they were serious, one of them would have agreed to step down for the other and that their failure to yield the position to the other meant that they were playing games.
It was also gathered that IBB pleaded with the lawmakers to consider the interest of the North and support their agitation for zoning.
The former president was also said to have complained that the senators rejected his earlier request for them to back the retention of polling order, which makes the presidential election to come last in the order of elections.
The IBB camp had lobbied the senators in July to retain the polling order, as recommended by the Senator Isiaka Adeleke-led INEC committee, but the president’s camp intervened and ensured that presidential election comes second on the election order.
Another source quoted one of the senators as telling the ex-leaders to up their campaign and make it known to the South-South that it could not use oil as a bargaining chip for the presidency.
The senator from the North-West was said to have said that there were many countries without oil and which were surviving well.
“If the South-South is banking on oil to bargain, then they don't have anything to bargain with," the senator was said to have told the gathering.
However, Atiku was said to have declared that he and IBB would ensure that only a northern president would be acceptable to them in 2011.