The ghost of the March 28 presidential election has refused to go away with the revelation on Saturday that the Peoples Democratic Party lost the polls because former President Goodluck Jonathan refused to abide by his single term agreement with the North.
The National Vice Chairman of the PDP (South-South), Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, who stated this while speaking with journalists in Abuja on Saturday, heaped the blame for the party’s defeat on Jonathan.
However, Ojougboh said the PDP had learnt from its mistakes and would not take the zoning arrangement as enshrined in its constitution for granted anymore.
Despite denials by the ex-president and his handlers coupled with pin-drop silence from the PDP national secretariat on the existence of a single term agreement with the North, Ojougboh insisted that the agreement, which was entered into in 2011 was real, but Jonathan could not bring himself to resist the pressure to run for a second term.
The PDP chief said voters in the North, therefore, rejected Jonathan and voted for President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, a northerner.
He expressed his regret that Jonathan reneged on the promise not to run for a second term after assuming power.
Ojougboh also said there was a gentleman arrangement between the 34 ‘great’ men that formed the PDP that they would start shifting power eight years to the North and eight years to the South, which was written in PDP’s constitution.
He said, “So, everybody cooperated when (Olusegun) Obasanjo became president.
“After eight years, it was the turn of the North to become president, then problem started. Some people started toying with the idea of third term. PDP said no; PDP members of the National Assembly and other parties said no it will not work.
“The PDP had to produce a candidate and that was how Yar’adua came. Unfortunately, Yar’adua did not survive, so the North said ‘this presidency is ours, we have to utilise our allotted eight years and they were right.
“Jonathan himself said he would do only four years. Emirs, leaders and stakeholders in the country accepted that Jonathan would do only four years so that the power can shift to the North.
“When time came, a lot of Macapa dances started; people started putting pressure here and there and people started encouraging Jonathan to contest.
“Unfortunately, Jonathan didn’t have the nerves to say ‘no, I will keep my agreement’.
“So, Jonathan contesting meant that zoning formula had been breached. The North didn’t take it kindly; they said ‘no, this is not what we agreed on’”.
Ojougboh noted that the ex-President and his loyalists, especially those from the North-Central, also joined in rejecting the PDP and its presidential candidate at the polls.
He further said the refusal by President Jonathan to abide by the agreement could also be the reason why the PDP lost five of its governors to the APC.
“Even the Christian North that used to be very friendly, especially the North-Central, said we had an agreement”, he added.
He, however, said there was opportunity for the PDP in the future because he believes that the APC-led Federal Government will not stand the test of time.
Ojougboh stressed that the PDP would have no hands in the APC-led Federal Government’s affairs.