Former President Goodluck Jonathan has debunked a purported media report that the aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors were loyal to him.
Mr Ikechukwu Eze, the Media Adviser to Jonathan, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, said the office’s attention had been drawn to media reports linking his name to the current troubles in the PDP.
Eze said that Jonathan would have ignored the strange tale since it was 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 page 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.
“First, we would like to make the point that it is not out of place if there was a crisis 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.”
Eze said the former president’s office’s attention was called to the provocative and insulting statements in separate, but similar versions of the story in different news media.
He said the report, either claimed that “the whole thing we are seeing in the PDP … is orchestrated for President Jonathan,” or that “he (Jonathan) is encouraging governors 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.
“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?”
Eze said those who insinuated that Jonathan was not happy with the PDP Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, because of whatever roles he played ahead of the 2015 elections, had forgotten that the former president actively campaigned for him in 2019.
“The fact that Dr. Jonathan stood out as an exemplary politician who, throughout his political career, abhorred treachery and mean-mindedness, and played politics without bitterness, needs no gainsay.
“Unlike many of his detractors, the former President has, out of office, progressed to a higher level of statesmanship, faithfully applying himself to causes that promote peace, love, unity, and progress, across the entire west African sub-region.
“It is Dr Jonathan’s wish that the PDP is able to resolve its internal crisis, unite all members, and have a good showing in the forthcoming 2023 elections.
“We wish to however point out that it will be difficult to achieve this aspiration if some forces in the party continue to engage in mudslinging, disinformation, and manifest tendencies that negate the values that are dear to loyal party members,” Eze said.