Jonathan Cost Us 2015 Elections -PDP | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Jonathan Cost Us 2015 Elections -PDP

Posted: Jul 12, 2015 at 12:03 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Feeling empty and, perhaps, reminiscing the days when it wielded unimaginable powers at the centre and in several states, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said former President Goodluck Jonathan caused its failure at the last general elections.

Goodluck Jonathan

Goodluck Jonathan

Assessing events leading to, during and after the elections, on Saturday, even as the report of the Senator Ike Ekwerenmadu committee on the issue is being awaited, the party specifically traced its problem to the insistence by Jonathan to run for a second term. It would be recalled that the issue of an agreement that the immediate past President would not go for a second term was a thorny one, with ex-President Obasanjo saying there was such an greement, though ‘a gentleman’s deal’ that did not require the parties signing any document. The pro-Jonathan campaign however swore severally that there was nothing like that, challenging those who argue otherwise to produce the signed agreement detailing terms of the pact.

Notwithstanding, the party said it has learnt its lessons and would in future not take the zoning arrangement enshrined in its constitution for granted.

Addressing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, PDP National Vice Chairman (South South), Dr. Cairo Ojougboh said it was pure mischief that prevented party members from insisting on the retention of the zoning arrangement, as he disclosed that the former president actually breached an agreement to run for just a term.

Taking a look into the past of the party yesterday and assessing what went wrong, Ojuigoh insisted that there was a gentleman arrangement by the 34 ‘great’ men that formed the PDP in 1998 that they would start shifting power eight years to the north and eight years to the south, adding that it was enshrined in the PDP constitution.

With former President Olusegun Obasanjo utilizing the eight years term of the South, the batton he said was given to former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who unfortunately died in offic,e even before completing his first four years in office.

Jonathan, he noted, was given the opportunity of being the party’s candidate, following the death of former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

Ojougboh stressed that President Jonathan, indeed agreed with the party leaders to serve a single term and let power return to the North, but breached the agreement. This, he regretted was with the connivance of some party leaders who threw their conscience to the winds.

At the last poll, President Muhammadu Buhari, he said, benefited from the anger of the northerners who overwhelmingly voted for him in a show of rejection of Jonathan who was perceived as a betrayer and treated so.

“When PDP had the first shot, everybody cooperated, Obasanjo became president. After eight years, it was the turn of the North to become president then problem started. Some people started toying with the idea of third term. PDP said no, PDP members of the National Assembly and other parties said no, it will not work.

“The PDP had to produce a candidate and that is how Yar’adua came. Unfortunately, Yar’adua did not survive so the North said look this presidency is our own, we have to utilise our allotted eight years and they were right.

“Jonathan himself said he will do only four years. Emirs, leaders and stakeholders in the country accepted that Jonathan will do only four years so that the power can shift to the North. When time came, a lot of Macabre dances started; people started putting pressure here and there, and people started encouraging Jonathan to contest. Unfortunately, Jonathan didn’t have the nerves to say no, I will keep my agreement.

“So Jonathan contesting meant that zoning formula had been breached. The North didn’t take kindly with it; they said no, this is not what we agreed. Even the christian North that used to be very friendly, especially the North Central said we had an agreement. Some governors about five of them left the party because of that because they saw what was happening. So it was this pressure that the North now agreed that they must take power back, that it was their turn.

“Fortunately or unfortunately, only two candidates were presented at the election whether you like it or not; Jonathan and Buhari. Buhari is from the North, Jonathan is from the South. The south had done more than enough for the time been for the agreement of 1998/1999. So the North said look we are going to vote for our son whether he is good or bad,” he said.

Speaking on the chances of the APC-led Federal Government surviving, the PDP National Vice Chairman expressed strong belief that the ruling party would not stand the test of time, but assured  that the PDP would however, have no hand in truncating the  affairs of the APC.

On the issue of Senator Ekweremadu who emerged as the Deputy Senate President against the wish of the APC leaders, he noted that what happened was a manifestation of the oneness and astute politics being played by PDP members who, he said, are miles ahead of the APC as a party.

On the attempt to reposition the PDP, Ojuigoh expressed firm optimism that the party would bounce back, just as he ruled out the issue of resignation or dissolution of the National Working Committee (NWC) members of the PDP, who he said, should be allowed to serve their tenure to its  in March 2016 instead of plunging the party into any crisis through covert attempt to remove them using illegal means.