Jonathan denies involvement in PDP crisis, says G5 not fighting his cause

Our reporter| Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged the main opposition Peoples Democratic party warring members to settle their differences ahead of the 2023 general elections as the five aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) known as the G5 are not fighting his cause.

The former President was responding to media reports that suggested the aggrieved governors were fighting his cause with the leadership of the party.

But in a statement released by his Special Adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, the former president denied having anything to do with the crisis that have rocked the party since after the presidential primaries won by former vice president Atiku Abubakar.

For months, the PDP G5 – Governors Samuel Ortom (Benue), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) – have been consistent in their demand that Iyorchia Ayu step down as PDP national chairman as a precondition to campaign for PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

Jonathan, who was Nigeria’s democratically elected President from 2010 to 2015 on the PDP platform, was reportedly called to intervene in the G5-Ayu row.

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Eze, in the statement, said it is not out of place for Jonathan to be called upon to intervene in the crisis.

“Our attention was called to provocative and insulting statements in separate but similar versions of the story in different news media, either claiming that ‘the whole thing we are seeing in the PDP … is orchestrated for President Jonathan,’ or that ‘he (Jonathan) is encouraging Governors Nyesom Wike, Makinde, Ikpeazu, Ugwuanyi, and Ortom to behave the way they are doing’, knowing that ‘these five governors are fighting his cause’.” The statement partly read.

“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 (Atiku) during the 2019 elections?

“Those who insinuate that Dr. Jonathan is not happy with the PDP’s Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, because of whatever roles he played ahead of the 2015 elections forget that the former President actively campaigned for Atiku in 2019, attending the flag off of his campaigns in Sokoto and subsequently participating in the campaigns in some states like Rivers and Bayelsa.

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“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.”

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