Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency has described as false and irresponsible reports that former president Goodluck Jonathan was blackmailed to support the All Progressive Congress (APC) in recent Bayelsa State governorship elections of November 16.
Former governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido, had in an interview with Sun Newspapers had alleged that the play-out in Bayelsa State, in which his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), was surprisingly defeated, could not have happened if Jonathan was not in the pocket of the Buhari administration, saying that the ex-President had traded his party for his freedom.
But the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has described the claims as wild and false allegations.
Shehu, who spoke to State House Correspondents on Tuesday said: “It just doesn’t make any sense. Our media really must learn to verify whatever they publish. And people who make wild allegations during interviews should be made to produce the facts backing their claims by editors. A newspaper can be sued for granting space to people who belch false allegations against individuals with no proof.”
According to the media aide, the former President had been out of power for almost five years, without any previous allegations of government blackmail cropping up.
According to him, there were more than enough reasons for Dr Jonathan to work against his party, PDP, in the just concluded Bayelsa elections, without interference by President Buhari.
“Anyone who has been following the politics of Bayelsa State should be aware of the sour relationship between Dr Jonathan and the incumbent governor, Seriake Dickson. That’s more than enough reason for the former President to decide to work against his party, if indeed he did.
“We really must stop this habit of blaming President Buhari for everything, including issues that are not his business,” he added.