Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Kinsmen of former president Goodluck Jonathan have raised the alarm over what they called manifest danger to the electoral fortunes of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State with Jonathan and his wife backing opposition candidates against PDP candidates in the national and state legislative elections.
Jonathan has however, dismissed the allegations with a wave of the hand describing those behind the allegation as being dishonest.
Jonathan’s kinsmen under the auspices of Ogbia Renaissance (OR) said they had proof that the former president was angry that his preferred candidates lost out in the National Assembly and House of Assembly primaries. And as such, he was secretly working with opposition elements to undermine the electoral fortunes of PDP in Ogbia and Bayelsa East senatorial district.
The Chairman of OR, Mr Obhioru Mitanoni, in a statement accused Jonathan and other PDP chieftains of committing clear anti-party activities ahead of the forthcoming legislative elections in the state.
According to him, OR is aware that Jonathan and his loyalists were backing Cleric Awudum, (Accord Party) against the PDP candidate, Munaleyefa Gibson, in Ogbia Constituency 2, Gabriel Ogbara of Advanced Democratic Congress against the PDP candidate, Naomi Ogoli for Ogbia Constituency 3, Samuel Ogbuku APC, a former chief of staff to former governor Timipre Sylva, against Fred Obua, thé PDP candidate for Ogbia Federal constituency and Senator Nimi Barigha Amange ADC against Chief Blessing Ipigasi Izagara of the PDP for Bayelsa East senatorial district.
He called on the national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, to take urgent steps to avert an impending disaster threatening the electoral fortunes of the PDP in the next election.
The statement read in part: “Jonathan and his loyalists’ brand of petty, self-centred brand of politics in Ogbia is a mockery and cruel slap on the enviable track record of late Senator Melford Okilo and other notable founding fathers and leaders in Ogbia land who fought hard to raise the profile of the Ogbia kingdom. Their selfish brand of politics has left Ogbia completely desolate, abandoned and rudderless. Ogbia that was once the pride and envy of the old Rivers State and Niger Delta is now a land begging for attention with the bulk of her people feeding from the crumbs that have fallen off the dining table of some self-glorifying leaders with no sense of mission.”
Jonathan through his media aide, Ikechuckwu Eze, has however insisted that he was not part of any plot to undermine the PDP in Ogbia and Bayelsa East in the forthcoming elections.
Eze in a telephone interview said OR allegations were similar to the ones made recently by some unnamed stakeholders in Bayelsa State, noted that he would give the same response he gave.
“It is manifestly dishonest, deceitful and preposterous for anybody to suggest that former president Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is working against the interest of the party on which he rose to occupy the highest office in the land. As one of the leaders of the party, having served as president on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, it is obvious that Dr. Jonathan has continued and will continue to work for the success of PDP across the nation. He is also a father-figure and a statesman whose door is open to all Nigerians desirous of visiting or consulting him on sundry matters, including politics. Even then, he has always given his support and blessing to his party’s candidates in all elections,” he said.