Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Jonathan, Defected Governors in War of Words

President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday stirred the hornets' nest when he claimed that the five Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors that defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC): Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko (Sokoto) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) lacked electoral value.

According to Jonathan, the PDP is not missing the G-5 governors on the grounds that they were inconsequential, saying that none of the defected governors would win a ward election in their states.

But the G5 governors have countered the claim of the president, insisting that that they would surprise him and the PDP in 2015. They added that they would show him that they had the grass roots support and the capacity to deliver their states in 2015.

Jonathan, who spoke at the 65th National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP in Abuja, added that his administration had started addressing issues of equipment with regards to tackling insurgency in the country.

He also declared that there was less security crisis in state controlled by the PDP because the governors were more committed.

This comes as the party disclosed that it is convention would hold after the Ramadan festival.

Jonathan said" Obviously everybody knows the security challenges we have. I don't want to be moaning or complaining but all what I can assure our great party is that we are taking o the challenges.

"Members of the BOT and members of the National Caucus called the National Security Adviser to brief them. All what I can assure you is that those issues of equipment and other things we are handling them. God willing, these challenges of Boko Haram or other criminal elements will soon come to be history in this country.

"While contending with security challenges we are still totally committed to our developmental programmes based on our party manifesto.

"Most of our PDP states are doing well. In fact, security challenges are less in the PDP states because of the commitment of the governors.

At the federal level if we don't do well that is where they will say what have they done. We are working hard, some people are appreciating some of the things we are doing. The country is so big that sometimes people don't see everything. By the time we give account of our stewardship the party members will be happy for what we have done over this short period of time."

Brushing off the APC and its governors, Jonathan noted "another group of people that I must specially appreciate is our governors, the PDP governors. You know the Nigeria Governors Forum, there were some challenges that came up and PDP governors became very strong.

"Even though some people left us but we are not noticing their absence because of the leadership and commitment shown by Governor Akpabio, the chairman of PDP and Governor Jang, the chairman of the Nigerian Governors' Forum and other members of the Governors' Forum from the PDP.

"Because of their total commitment, it is like a football team. Nigeria, have won with a team of 10 players before because when they removed one and they removed the second one, the rest people started playing as if they were 13. So, we didn't even notice that we have lost two. That is what the PDP governors are doing.

"We have to encourage them, we have to commend them. They are working and defending the party as if we have 36 governors and we believe they will carry on with that spirit especially in this injury time.

"Let me congratulate the great PDP state chairmen. We are quite impressed with what you are doing leading at the state level. Some of the states even without governors, we know what they are passing through. Even little allowances for transport for even some of their members sometimes, it is extremely difficult in some of the states where we don't have PDP governors. But still, you are forging ahead, you are never intimidated. You continue to push as if you have super governors with you. We commend you for your good work."

He continued, "There was a time, especially when some of our governors for one reason or the other, moved and some members of the National Assembly also moved and people were feeling 'oh, these people will overrun PDP'.

"From the privileged position that I am, I see wider. When I looked across I did not really see that threat. I said 'look, psychologically we must let everybody know that PDP is still the dominant party.' I told National Chairman 'let us have zonal unity rally, let us demonstrate our strength so that they will know that one or two persons that left is inconsequential. Some of them I am not sure they can win their Ward in an election now because some of those states are totally PDP states. When you think that you are this and you are that and you probably think you will leave with the whole state, by the time we arrive you get to know that others are behind to continue with PDP. That is what I am seeing because there are some states that cannot conduct local government elections.

We'll surprise, Jonathan, PDP in 2015 - Nyako, others

But the G-5 governors, who spoke through Governor Murtala Nyako, have described the statement credited to President Goodluck Jonathan to the effect that the five governors that defected to APC could not win even a councillorship position as laughable, promising President Jonathan pleasant surprises come 2015.

Nyako who spoke through his director of Press,Mallam Ahmad Sajo , was emphatic that President Goodluck Jonathan's administration had lost control of the country.

According to Nyako, there was no compulsion in belonging to a political party especially the one which entrenched impunity as its culture saying people changed religion, let alone a political party which had chosen the wrong path.

"They seem to be rattled, the leadership of the party in Abuja has already given it a terrifying fatal upper-cut, like in boxing, and to leave a dead body of the already dead PDP is better than be buried with it," he said.

"It's unfortunate and regrettable that the president can't read in between the political lines and seems to be at a loss with the reality to know where the pendulum swings.

"The pervasive corruption and incompetence that has become the hallmarks of the Jonathan Administration paved the way for this unprecedented greed in which hapless job seekers were extorted by the same government that has failed to provide jobs for them.

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