Daily Trust (Abuja)

24 December 2012

Nigeria: Asari Wants to Pull Down Jonathan - Presidency

The Presidency yesterday said comments by ex-Niger Delta militant leader Mujaheed Asari Dokubo against President Goodluck Jonathan were intended to pull down the president.

Reacting to recent statements by Dokubo that Jonathan has lost his support base and might not be re-elected for failing to deliver on his promises, Presidential Spokesman Reuben Abati said the comment is a "crab mentality."

He said "There is also a comment from him (Dokubo) about people who surround the president whom he says are greedy and who have cut him off from his roots and all that. What you just take from all that is this crab mentality theory of human relationship and I think that there is a lot of this crab theory at play in Nigeria both in terms of interpersonal relationship and in terms of how people respond to public issues.

"What is that crab theory all about? If you put a number of crabs in a bucket and one of them tries to go to the top, the other crabs will be struggling to pull that one that is trying to go to the top down. They will keep reminding that top crab that you are one of us; this is where you belong and you cannot leave us; we are together.

"When you translate that crab theory into the governance arena, you find that it puts people who are in leadership position under enormous pressure because there are too many other persons saying they don't want progress because they all want to be at the same level. But I want to believe that the interview granted by Asari- Dokubo is merely consistent with the principle of freedom of speech, these days, it is fashionable to make some noise and gain attention, and that it doesn't quite reflect his innermost feelings about the Jonathan administration and about President Jonathan in particular."

Abati also faulted claim by Dokubo of a rift between Jonathan and former president Olusegun Obasanjo saying such claim was erroneous as the two leaders still maintain cordial relation.

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