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Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan has debunked rumours that he was fueling the crisis facing the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
This was contained in a statement issued by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, noting that he was not involved in the crisis in any capacity.
The statement followed the ongoing face-off between five governors of the PDP with the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. The governors who operate under the aegis of G5 governors are demanding the resignation of the party’s Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, arguing that the presidential candidate and the National Chairman cannot come from the same zone.
Among the aggrieved governors are Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State. The governors have refused to play any part in Atiku’s campaign activities so far, insisting that Ayu must go.
Reacting to the development, Gabriel Suswam, former governor of Benue State disclosed on Arise TV on Thursday that Jonathan had been enlisted to mediate in the crisis.
Speculations are rife that the G5 governors are open to resolving the crisis with Atiku expressing readiness to negotiate with them on finding lasting peace.
Jonathan in his reaction contained in a statement titled, ‘Re: Aggrieved PDP governors loyal to Jonathan’, read in part, “Our attention has been drawn to news media and social media reports linking former President Dr Goodluck Jonathan’s name to the current troubles in the Peoples Democratic Party with a false claim that the aggrieved PDP governors are demonstrating their loyalty to him.
“We would have ignored the strange tale since it is obviously baseless. However, we are offering this clarification because we have been reached by many Nigerians, who are concerned that such fabrication with a vague and suspicious attribution could be given undeserved prominence on the front pages of some national dailies.
“We are also not unmindful of the fact that, this being an electioneering season, bizarre tales are often contrived, propagated and weaponised to either smear others or deliver cheap political advantage to the purveyors.
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“First, we would like to make the point that it is not out of place if there were crises in a political party like the PDP and a former President, who served under the party’s platform, is called upon to intervene. That being the case, we initially did not see anything wrong with the headlines in some papers, indicating that the former President was being persuaded to help resolve the issues in the party.
“However, we are dismayed that the seemingly purpose-minded headlines were only cast to mask the mischief of the sponsors of the story and hoodwink the unsuspecting populace. Our attention was called to provocative and insulting statements in separate but similar versions of the story in different news media, either claiming that ‘the whole thing we are seeing in the PDP…is orchestrated for President Jonathan’, or that ‘he (Jonathan) is encouraging governors Nyesom Wike, Makinde, Ikpeazu, Ugwuanyi and Ortom to behave the way they are doing’, knowing that ‘these five governors are fighting his cause’.
“We believe that such duplicitous statements could not have emanated from the camps of those who truly wish the party well. It simply shows that the so-called ‘sources’ of the story are not disposed to the peace and unity they pretend to be seeking in the PDP.”
Jonathan also rubbished reports that he has grudge against the PDP presidential candidate, Abubakar.
The statement added, “How could anybody turn around in 2022 to accuse Jonathan of bearing a grudge against the PDP when the former President had campaigned vigorously for the party and its presidential candidate during the 2019 elections?