Former Senate Whip, Senator Kanti Bello, has accused the Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, of telling a lie over his claim that President Goodluck Jonathan agreed to a single term in 2011. Bello said, as a principal officer of the Senate in 2011, he attended a meeting of governors and lawmakers where the issue of Jonathan’s single term was raised.
The former Senate Whip told one of our correspondents in a telephone interview on Sunday that he personally raised the matter during the said meeting and that Jonathan did not make any promise of serving just one term. Aliyu had in an interview aired on Liberty Radio, Kaduna, claimed that President Jonathan had agreed to serve for only one term of four years beginning from 2011.
But Bello, a former member of the Peoples Democratic Party, who defected to the Congress for Progressive Change, dismissed Aliyu’s claims. Bello said, “He (Aliyu) is being economical with the truth. You see, I will explain clearly what happened.
“When we were having a meeting, then I was in PDP, we were there at the National Headquarters of the Party, we the principal officers of the Senate, governors and some members of the National Working Committee of the Party. “A discussion arose and President Jonathan complained about the sequence of elections and lack of support as an executive President and member of our party.
“Then, finally I raised the issue that it is not a question of election, you want to run but since you want to run, some of us feel what you want to do is unconstitutional but since a decision has been taken and a primary has taken place, the majority of the people say run so democratically, there is nothing anybody can do since there has been a convention and nobody objected at the convention about your running. “ I asked him, what are we going to take in return to our people, what do we tell them? Even if we want to convince our people, we have to take something to them, can you please confirm to us here and now that you are only going to run for one term?
“To be fair to Jonathan, he did not utter a word. You get it clear? He didn’t say a word, he kept quiet and that is where we stopped. “But later, Governor (Shehu) Shema of Katsina State, and his friends, out of mischief, went and wrote a communiqué that Jonathan was running for only one term. He didn’t say it, but they wrote a communique, I challenge anybody to say that was not what happened.
“You cannot say based on that you have an agreement with Jonathan, you cannot say it. Writing a communiqué on behalf of somebody who didn’t utter a word, I cannot see it as an agreement. That was exactly what happened.