•Party, Bago, Obi, congratulate ex-president at 66
Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Bayelsa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has lambasted the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state for attacking former President Goodluck Jonathan over a personal comment he made during a visit to Governor Douye Diri last Friday.
This was as the PDP leadership, Niger State Governor, Mohammed Umar Bago and former Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, have congratulated Jonathan on his 66th birthday.
However, the PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, Mr. Ebiye Ogoli, in a statement, accused the APC of twisting the former president’s comments in order to pour out its frustrations after losing the November 11 governorship election in the state.
“His Excellency Dr. Jonathan, while congratulating the governor during the visit, said: ‘I told myself that if Diri loses this election, I might consider moving my mother to Abuja.”
The PDP, therefore, wondered how in an election contested by candidates of 16 political parties, the APC had to misappropriate Dr. Jonathan’s comment as if it was directed at the party or its candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva.
He said the former president never mentioned the APC or its candidate throughout the cause of the visit.
“Since his forthright comment appeared in the media, the APC and its array of faceless, contemptible, lick-spittle groups have been inconsolable, acting like a forcefully weaned baby.
“Placed in proper context, Dr. Jonathan’s comment alluded to and reflected the peace, security and stability that Bayelsa State has witnessed under the Governor Diri administration, which is a fact generally acknowledged by residents of the state.
“The Bayelsa APC so-called leaders and groups, who are actually lackeys of the party’s governorship candidate, continue to make themselves a laughing stock for their intemperate and disrespectful tirades against Nigeria’s icon of democracy.
“If anyone is suffering any sort of frustration or mental crisis, it is the Bayelsa APC and its candidate that are yet to come to terms with the shellacking they got on November 11.
“We advise them to lick their wound with some decorum and not misdirect their anger towards an innocent statesman who spoke truth from his heart,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a statement by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Olohunagba, the party, while celebrating Jonathan on his birthday, said he has continued to stand out as a national icon of democracy and international statesman.
He further described him as a sincere, selfless, humble, courageous and patriotic leader, who as a product of the PDP, remained steadfast to his commitment towards the peace, unity, stability and development of our dear nation.
Also, the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Umaru Bago, in a congratulatory message by his Chief Press Secretary, Bologi Ibrahim, described the celebrant as “a symbol of humility,” and commended him for his contributions to the growth and development of the nation during and after leaving office.
The governor noted that for the celebrant to be appointed as the first sub-Saharan African leader to serve on the international advisory board of the European Corporate Council on Africa and the Middle East (ECAM) “is a testament to his dedication and commitment to the betterment of not just Nigeria, but the African continent.”
On his part, presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25 2023 election, Obi thanked Jonathan for his huge sacrifice for democracy in Nigeria and Africa, regretting that some politicians had made spirited efforts to undermine the sacrifice he made for the democracy in the country.
According to a statement by his media aide, Michael Jude Nwolisa, Obi had told Jonathan in a series of tweets on his X handle, how nostalgic Nigerians were at the outcome of the free, fair, and transparent election in Liberia monitored by him, where the opposition candidate defeated an incumbent after a run-off.
“May I on behalf of my family heartily congratulate Your Excellency, Dr Goodluck Jonathan as you mark your 66th birthday anniversary today. I thank God for what he has used you to do for our country, Africa, and global democracies as President and former President who continues to be a good vehicle for free, fair, transparent, and violent free elections.
“Your recent mission for democracy in our West African Neighbour, Liberia where a transparent election was held leading to a run-off that produced an opposition as the winner, made many Nigerians nostalgic about your huge sacrifice for democracy in our country in 2015,” he said.