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“Northerners Were Charged To Vote Against An Infidel” Yankassai Explains The Propaganda That Worked Against Jonathan In The North



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Frontline nationalist, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai is not exactly comfortable with the dynamics of the just con­cluded general elections. The elder statesman, in his characteristic bluntness, laments on the role of religion and ethnicity in the defeat of President Goodluck Jona­than. He is deeply worried that the fallout of the 2015 presidential election might result in negative consequences for the unity of Nige­ria. He speaks to Sun NewspaperDESMOND MG­BOH in Kano…


Despite the efforts of President Jonathan to seek the friendship of the core North by extending a reasonable size of projects to them, he was hated, hunted and turned down by these same peo­ple during the presidential elec­tion. What exactly happened?

Well, the people (core North) have been incited against Jonathan a long time ago. Even the educated ones were not fair in relating to his achievements in the region. They had made up their minds that Jonathan is anti-North. And whatever he has done, he remained an­ti-North. The fact that he sited nine of 12 new universities in the North in order to assist in bridging the educational gap that exists between the North and the rest of the country did not matter. The fact that he introduced the Almajiri schools which would reduce the number of young peo­ple who go about doing nothing but beg­ging also never counted to them.

In fact, somebody this morning, as we were discussing Jonathan, insisted that Jonathan was only busy sacking North­erners from federal establishments. But when I looked at the number of ministers and northerners in key positions, I real­ised that this very influential individual, who should know better, had made up his mind not to be objective about the issue. He was not prepared to listen to anybody. So, some people had made up their minds. The fact remains that there was this high level conspiracy against Jonathan, such that whatever he does, it would have been very difficult to con­vince people to abandon their already concluded opinion about him.

For instance, I was made to understand that a number of the members of the tra­ditional institution and influential clerics and university people, they all ganged up to spread one form of propaganda or the other against him (Jonathan). And this propaganda has already gone down deep into the minds of the people. The Friday before the presidential election, virtually all the imams in the North made a simple appeal to their congregations that when they go out the following day to cast their votes, they should make sure that they did not cast their votes in favour of an infidel. Just in one or two words, the campaign was finished. So, the follow­ing day everybody was charged to go and vote against an infidel. Who was that in­fidel? Jonathan. Even the Friday after the election, I attended a mosque where the imam was offering thanksgiving prayers to God for getting rid of an infidel.

Still, on this topic, what about the PDP members who also failed to rise up to defend their own and their party?

That is not my problem today. My prob­lem is that we in the far North have acted out the script of Gideon Orkar. We have opted out of the mainstream of Nigerian politics and I am waiting for the time to come when we would realise the conse­quences of our action.

When you say that you people have acted out the script of Gideon Orkar, what exactly do you mean?

Let me put it this way. This country is a country which is equally divided between Christians and Muslims. Where a Muslim would not vote for somebody because he is a Christian, then there is a problem. It may not appear immediately but there is a long time predicament that would one day appear because when someday it is the turn of a Christian to vote for a Mus­lim, surely this thing happening today would boomerang.



  1. SaLam

    2015/05/02 at 2:47 pm

    he is a very stupid old man for saying that. Was it not Vice President sambo that campaigned that northerners should not vote APC bcos it is s Christian party? Let him go and tell his story to fools. He should get ready to repay the billions he was paid by the presidency, period!

  2. Hadiza Yar Isa

    2015/05/02 at 4:43 pm

    This just a stupid piece of writing.

  3. Hadiza Yar Isa

    2015/05/02 at 4:58 pm

    This is just a stupid piece of writing.

  4. Kankani

    2015/05/02 at 11:35 pm

    u mean all the vote GEJ got frm d north were frm Christians? Fear Allah! D average northerner feels and rightly so that the govt of GEJ had failed him bc he didn’t give a dam borrowing frm his own word and the consequences is now history. For once ppl votes counted and you have 2 leave wth it. Same fate await any non performing gvt. Never again will politicians take us for granted

  5. Ola

    2015/05/03 at 12:26 pm

    Yakassai’s submission is totally baseless. What about all the northern governors, senators and reps that lost their re-election bids, are they also infidels?

  6. Isyaku Idris

    2015/05/05 at 1:43 am

    Africans don’t bad mouth elders and I don’t usually comment on articles but I’m compelled to on this one because it’s absolute nonsense. President Jonathan was supported mainly by the North (Nigeria) in 2011. By 2015 corruption has risen abysmally , over 20 ooo innocents had been needlessly killed and the President not only did nothing but intentionally turned a blind eye. To add insult to injury trillions of naira was stolen in the name of security. By election time everyone was fed up and wanted the President and PDP out, religion had nothing to do with it. Yakassai like others in the corridors of power are disillusional, detached from realities on ground.

  7. Jan Hazo

    2015/05/05 at 8:54 pm

    Well Alhaji TankoYakasai you hve had your choice, your say but President Jonathan still lost the elections. To attribute that to any faith is absolute bunkum. Just consider Kano, neighbouring Katsina and Sokoto states..
    In Kano Kwankwaso won by first defeating the PDP field, then took on Shekarau’s choice and won despite Mallam Shekarau’s incumbency. Certainly whoever told JEG Kwankwaso was a featherweight on Kano lied! In Sokoto, Wammako won his first and second terms despite Bafarawa, yet PDP ditched Muhtari Shagari and expect to win? In Katsina from 1999 to date, the PDP has fielded only Katsina Central candidates, are there no other Katsinawas? Mallam thank God go anf enjoy whatever the PDP Presidential Campaign paid you but let us love in peace please.

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