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Former Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi, is the chairman of the National Coalition for Jonathan/Sambo 2015.
In this telephone interview, Shinkafi, who dumped his party, ANPP, for the PDP in 2009, said his group will not leave any stone unturned in ensuring that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan stays in power beyond 2015.
What informed the formation of your group?
Our group has been in existence for a very long time. It started in 2010 and its first chairman was John Sagaya, the second was Professor Jerry Gana and I’m the third chairman.
You know our group is the umbrella body of all Jonathan/Sambo campaign organisations. I was selected to head the group based on integrity and trust. The name of our group is National Coalition for Jonathan/Sambo 2015 campaign
What is the source of funding of your group?
We generate funds from ourselves. I mean we are funding ourselves from our pockets. We the members of our group contribute money to carry out programmes for the actualisation of Jonathan Presidency come 2015.
Your group came on board at a time when there is agitation that power should return to the North come 2015. Why are you pressing for the continuation of Jonathan?
You know everywhere there are groups advancing for different political views and aspirations. We have it in Jigawa, in Kano and Sokoto State and we also have the G-7 governors, even they are not canvassing for North and this is why we have River State governor among them.
Different groups are campaigning for persons that they feel can move the country forward. We are for continuity and this is why we are canvassing for the continuation of President Jonathan. We want him to continue his power project, railway and many other infrastructural development going on across the country.
It was because of the continuation of the numerous developmental projects that we want him to continue beyond 2015. We want him to continue because we are of the view that he will move the country forward.
President Jonathan has not formally declared his intention to contest come 2015 and your group is campaigning for him. Have you people received his blessing to do this?
We don’t need to wait because there is so much to make us believe that he is ready for 2015. He doesn’t have to declare his intention before we will campaign for him.
The constitution of PDP recognises the rotation of power between North and South. It is widely believed that 2015 is the turn of the North to produce the president. Why are you pushing him to violate the constitution?
That issue is not what we should argue or belabour ourselves on because it has since been resolved. It is now up to us, politicians, to advance and campaign for who we want to rule us.
You were governor when Jonathan allegedly signed a single term pact. Are you one of those that were present at the meeting shortly before 2011 elections?
The country’s constitution is very clear about that and I’m sure if there is a document we would have seen it by now. We need to be honest about our agitations and people are only making political statements about it. Let somebody come out and produce it, that is if there is any. It is just about power.
What is the position of your group as to the agitation of the G-7 governors?
All these agitations here and there are just about power. There is nothing more than power, they are doing theirs and we are doing ours too.