Aftermath of Yar'Adua's death- Battle not over, Yakassai warns Jonathan

THE SUN Newspaper- Desmond Mgboh

Elder statesman and one of the leaders of the pro- Yar’Adua camp, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, has sent a clear signal to President Goodluck Jonathan that the battle is not yet over.

Yakassai, who spoke to Daily Sun in Katsina, observed that their struggle against the administration of Jonathan drew its relevance from the desire to ensure that the North is not shortchanged in the scheme of things, adding that there are no indications, so far, that those behind the move to shortchange the North will stop now that Yar’Adua is late.

Specifically, he stated that their struggle came about after it was discovered that at some point in the course of the failing health of Yar’Adua, Dr. Jonathan and people like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who ironically was the greatest beneficiary of this arrangement, were determined to ensure that the North is denied its share of the eight-year rule as provided in the rotation of the presidency between the North and the South.

He rejected the suggestion that Yar’Adua’s death may have provided the basis for the attempted violation of the rotation agreement and the atmosphere for anyone to take advantage of the North, arguing that the president’s death “is an act of God. God cannot cheat anybody.” But he clearly stated that much as the North has accepted the demise of Yar’Adua as an act of God, “the problem will arise when Jonathan would want to continue to rule after the tenure of Yar’Adua which he is supposed to complete, is over.”

On this, he warned: “We will fight. We will fight to ensure that rotation is retained in the PDP. We will insist that the rotation remains till the North gets its full tenure of eight years. And thereafter, if the country wants to abandon the concept of rotation altogether, then we will consider it.”

Asked about moves to pick somebody outside the North-West zone as the next vice president, he said ordinarily, the position of the vice president is a spare that can only come to serious use if the president is incapacitated. He, however, noted that since whatever choice Jonathan will make will be sent to the National Assembly, it is up to the legislators from the affected zone to ensure that justice is done to their people by insisting that they must get the slot.

On the absence of the new president and many of his cabinet members from the burial of the late Yar’Adua in Katsina last Thursday, Yakassai stated: “I can, of course, understand if he personally did not attend the funeral of his boss in Katsina. But denying his cabinet members from attending the funeral of his boss is a heartless act.”

He recalled that President Jonathan, right from when Yar’Adua was on the sickbed, had declared war on Yar’Adua and the people close to him, adding that it is therefore, no surprise that his ministers and close allies did not appear in Katsina last Thursday, “because they knew that were there to attempts to appear in Katsina, they will incur the wrath of Jonathan”.

Insisting that Dr. Jonathan is out to settle scores against Northerners and against friends of Yar’Adua, Yakassai cited the reconstitution of the cabinet, the sacking of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director, the reassignment of officers of Northern extraction from the key positions in the NNPC in favour of Niger Deltans, within 48 hours the new Petroleum Minister, Alison-Madueke’s assumption of office, the threat of removal directed at the EFCC boss, Mrs. Farida Waziri and same on the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Abdulrahman Danbazau as well as other subtle maneuvres against Northerners in federal positions to back his claims.

He, however, advised Jonathan to adhere to his oath of office to give justice to all without fear or favour in the administration of the country in the remaining days of the administration.


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