The Save Ijaw Nation Group (SING) has debunked the allegations accusing former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan of working against the interest of some chairmanship aspirants in the forthcoming National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a statement signed by SING’s Director, Mr. Tony Ile, the group blamed the claim on some fifth columnists, whom it said have been working against the interest of Jonathan by spreading negative stories in the media against the former president.
The group stressed that as the father of the party, Jonathan was neutral and fair to all aspirants.
Describing those behind the fake news as divisive agents that do not wish the PDP well, SING also accused them of spreading falsehood about an imaginary squabble between Jonathan and Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyeson Wike, “over the issue of who to support at the convention.”
The statement said further: “Their latest ploy is to sponsor some stories in the media to create the impression that Jonathan is now at loggerheads with the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyeson Wike over the issue of who to support at the convention. They think that by doing that Wike and other party leaders will begin to have problems with Jonathan. They forget that Wike is Jonathan’s loyal political son with whom he will continue to work together for the good of the party, Niger Delta and the entire nation.”
The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a fallacious allegation made by a hitherto unknown group, the South-South Coalition for Good Governance that former President Goodluck Jonathan was mobilising northerners in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to work against the ambition of a chairmanship candidate, Mr. Uche Secondus. We believe that those behind this fictitious group are merely flying a kite meant to sway the ex-president to openly express his views on the chairmanship race at the forthcoming convention.
“This is a fabricated statement that has to be quickly debunked because of the likelihood of such lies to begin to wear the toga of reality, if allowed to stay too long in the public space, unchallenged.
“The nation and PDP members had experienced a similar situation in the past when a false impression was created by some mischievous persons to the effect that Jonathan installed former PDP chairman Senator Modu Sheriff in office. This falsehood later morphed into a strange perception which unfortunately had some gullible party members believing its possibility, even as it was obvious to all party leaders that Jonathan had no hand in Sheriff’s emergence as the leader of the party.
“The claim this time is that former President Jonathan is using some northern leaders to frustrate Secondus’ aspiration to lead the party.
“How come they couldn’t mention the name of even one leader that Jonathan had consulted on the choice of candidates for the convention?
“How we wish that Jonathan had such strong northern support he is now being accused of deploying. If he did, he wouldn’t have dismally lost the 2015 presidential election in the zone, like he did.
“It is obvious that those spreading this rumour are not even smart. If they were, they would have known that it doesn’t even sound right to claim that the former president would connive with some people, be them from the North or South, to plot the downfall of a man he had helped from his modest position then as a state party chairman to become a key figure in the national leadership of the party, having held such key offices as organizing secretary, deputy chairman and acting chairman.
“The truth is that Jonathan has nothing against the aspirations of such a man whom he has helped to groom. It is also true that as a politician, it is his right to cultivate sympathy for any candidate of his choice. However, no rational party member expects the former president to openly endorse any candidate, given that he is the father of the party who should be seen to be fair to all.
“We have to point out that this same fifth columnists, from what we already know of them, are behind all the negative stories in the media against the former president. Their sole aim is to put Jonathan in bad light and cause confusion between him and other leaders of the party.
“It is obvious that they are just exploiting the opportunity of the convention and the name of Secondus, who they do not even support, to continue their attack on Jonathan, with the main aim of pitching the former president against the party. There is no doubt that these are people with evil intentions who do not wish the PDP well.
“Their latest ploy is to sponsor some stories in the media to create the impression that Jonathan is now at loggerheads with the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyeson Wike over the issue of who to support at the convention. They think that by doing that Wike and other party leaders will begin to have problems with Jonathan. They forget that Wike is Jonathan’s loyal political son with whom he will continue to work together for the good of the party, Niger Delta and the entire nation.
“Those manufacturing the lies should know by now that they have failed, if their original intention was to pull Jonathan out at this point, through deception, to openly endorse a candidate for the chairmanship position. As the father of the party, former President, Jonathan will not openly support one candidate against another. As the father of the party, we know that Jonathan’s doors are open to all party members who would wish to either consult him on national issues or seek his blessings for their aspiration to any office of their choice, in the party.
“This is a period that all loyal and committed members of the PDP should make sacrifices to encourage the main opposition party to grow from strength to strength, for the good of the nation’s democracy. For PDP members who wish to occupy leadership positions in the party, we urge them to be patriotic-minded as they pursue their interests, rather than seek to destroy the party with devious rumours and lies.
“Those members of the party who take recourse in character assassination of other members should be reminded that they are destroying rather than building the party.
“From what we know of former President Jonathan, we are sure that he will continue to play the role expected of him as a neutral father figure in the party, and never allow crooked politicians who have no interest in the progress of the PDP to distract him,” the group added.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government has dispelled speculations that there is palpable friction between the former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan and the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike over the choice of candidates for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) national chairmanship position in the December 9 National Convention of the party in Abuja.
In a statement in Port Harcourt, the government said, “Our attention has been drawn to a fictional pattern of reports being planted in the media by enemies of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wherein they allege that former President Goodluck Jonathan and the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike are at loggerheads over political issues.
“These reports are patently false and merely concocted by enemies of the PDP to deceive Nigerians ahead of the forthcoming elective National Convention of the party.
“The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike and former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan are working together to rebuild the PDP and re-position it for victory in all future elections.
“Contrary to the views being canvassed in the reports planted by the agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in sections of the media, there is no premise for any political disagreement between Wike and Jonathan, whom he served as a loyal minister.
“The presidential ticket of the PDP has been zoned to the North, while the national chairmanship of the party is zoned to the South; hence there is no basis for the speculation that there is a conflict, where none exists.
“We urge members of the public and loyal PDP members to disregard these reports as they are concocted to mislead Nigerians who are tired of the present order,” the statement added.