By Emmanuel Obisue
Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has said he will respectfully drop his presidential ambition if former President Goodluck Jonathan declares to run again for the nation’s most exalted seat.
Mohammed who disclosed this on Sunday night while featuring on Channels Television programme, “Politics Today”, said if Jonathan joins the race, it would pose a big problem for him.
“He is one of those persons I respect most in this country. He is the most respected person I have because I emerged and came to national limelight through him. Certainly I have come to establish a family relationship with him and to me, he cannot be in the race and I will be in the race, out of respect and modesty.
“I have given him enough time and he has urged me to go ahead and I have gone ahead and even gotten another burden now; the mandate of my elders to continue. So if Jonathan is running, it is a very big problem to me,” the governor noted.
The former FCT Minister, who was recently endorsed alongside former Senate President Bukola Saraki as the northern presidential consensus candidates of the PDP by the Northern Elders Forum, said the outcome of the exercise has boosted his chances against other aspirants.
While dismissing the possibility of stepping down for Saraki, Mohammed said he would be more than willing to step down for Jonathan whether the former president is contesting under the APC or PDP.
He added that he does not believe in zoning, but on the need to select the most capable hands for the seat.
“I don’t believe in sectionalism or zoning. I believe in Nigeria first. I believe that Nigerians should be given the opportunity to get the best, but put that aside about merit and rotation which is the key because we’re a federating entity country.
“We must look at how zoning came into being in PDP. I am PDP man to the core. I don’t look at this aberration or APC administration as having any effect on me as a PDP man,” he said.
Mohammed served as Minister under the Jonathan administration.
Meanwhile, speculation of Jonathan’s intention to run in 2023 is growing. Last Friday, youth groups met the former Bayelsa Governor and asked him to run again for President.
Responding, he said: “Yes, you are calling on me to come and declare for the 2023 presidency, yes I can’t tell you are declaring, the political process is ongoing, just watch out”.