13th October, 2010
Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, North Central Nigeria, has urged KwaraÂ State Governor, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, to step down for former military dictator andÂ Peopleâ€™s Democratic Party, PDP, presidential aspirant, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.
Aliyu advised Saraki, who is also running for president under PDP, to step down and giveÂ Babangida an edge during the partyâ€™s primaries.
Other candidates who are trying to clinch the PDP ticket for president include, AtikuÂ Abubakar, Aliyu Gusau and President Goodluck Jonathan.
The governor made the call yesterday in Minna, capital of Niger State, when he hosted
Saraki, who was on a two day working visit in the state.
Aliyu reasoned that although IBB and Saraki are from the North and have the rightÂ qualities and experience that Nigerians need in a president, Saraki shoud step down as aÂ younger brother to IBB.
â€œYou should know that in Niger State, we also have our son as a candidate. You mustÂ appeal to him to leave for you, or since you are the younger one, you leave for him,â€Â Aliyu said.
However, if a compromise cannot be reached, Aliyu said, both candidates must showÂ maturity during their campaign as they both come from the same zone.
Governor Aliyu disclosed that some state governors have embarked on a move to removeÂ Saraki as Chairman Governorsâ€™Forum, adding that the move aims at bringing politics andÂ disunity among the governors.
He said as long as Saraki remains Kwara State Governor, he will remain the leader ofÂ Governorsâ€™ Forum, until he informs the Forum that he can no longer cope with campaign andÂ activities of the forum.
â€œYou are the governor of Kwara State and the leader of Governorsâ€™Forum. You must doÂ something quickly because we donâ€™t want to be hijacked by some groups who want toÂ politicise the forum,â€ Aliyu said.
Governor Saraki who spoke briefly with jounarlists said that there is still enough timeÂ for negotiation and will reach out to Babangida for a compromise.
â€”Aliyu Musa/ Minna