Tanko Yakasai, a prominent northern leader, says he supported President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 28 election because some northerners threatened to make the country ungovernable if he won.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, he denied rumours that his support for Jonathan was based on pecuniary interest.
“People talked about millions of naira given to me just to support him, but I gave my support out of my conviction that any other Nigerian is entitled to be president of Nigeria,” he said.
“What made me take that stand was the utterances of some northerners that if he was re-elected president that there would be war or bloodshed in Nigeria and that some northerners will make the country ungovernable for him.
“And those utterance ran counter to the provisions of our constitution which give every Nigerians the right to seek any elective office of his choice and it’s up to Nigerians to vote for him or not.”
Yakasai, who was special adviser on national assembly matters to President Shehu Shagari during the second republic, said: “I never met Jonathan in person until a few days to the election on matters affecting the security of the country.
“I never asked for a contract from him or his deputy or any of his ministers. I am not a contractor and don’t even have company that does contracts.”
He also denied widespread reports that he said the acting chairperson of INEC, Amina Zakari, is a blood relation of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“What I told them (the journalists) was that there is no blood relation between Hajia Amina Zakari and President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.
Ayo Fayose, governor of Ekiti state, had criticised Buhari for appointing Zakari, quoting Yakasai.
He said: “Two weeks ago, respected former lawmaker and former top civil servant, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, revealed that he knew Mrs. Zakari since childhood, and that her late father, the former Emir of Kazaure, was married to President Buhari’s elder sister.
“Alhaji Yakassai went on to reveal that President Buhari lived with and spent a significant part of his early years in the home of Amina Zakari’s father.
“This is enough establishment of conviviality between Mrs Zakari and President Buhari, whose party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) will be standing elections with other political parties this year and this will no doubt cast credibility aspersion on any election conducted by INEC headed by Mrs Zakari.”
Yakasai said: “‘In my view, Amina Zakari is a career civil servant and I don’t know her in any party.”