Former President Goodluck Jonathan has come under fire over his comment that he would have relocated his mother to Abuja, if the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timipre Sylva, had won the Bayelsa State November 11, 2023 governorship poll.
This was as the Governor Douye Diri of the state, has described former President Goodluck Jonathan as a unique and quintessential democrat and statesman.
However, in a show of anger and disbelief, the APC Deputy governorship candidate in the just-concluded poll in Bayelsa State, Joshua Maciver, and the state APC Elders Council have blasted the former President over his comment.
MacIver, in a statement, took exception to Jonathan’s outburst and his partisan endorsement of Diri in spite of his statesmanship.
He said: “It is with a deep sense of concern and sadness that I, Great Joshua MacIver, deputy governorship candidate of the APC in the November 11, 2023 governorship election in Bayelsa State, address the endorsement of Governor Douye Diri by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“In a manner that departs from the expected statesmanship, I find it disheartening that Jonathan, in a state where his role should be father like and non-partisan to all candidates, has chosen to endorse a specific individual, during a political season.
“Furthermore, I express my reservations regarding the former President’s statement about the planned relocation of his mother to Abuja had Governor Douye Diri lost the governorship election. This public speech, openly demarketing Bayelsa State as unsafe and insecure, is a sentiment that should not be voiced by someone of his stature.
“Sadly, Jonathan’s recent action has made him lose the respect of all true followers of the former Minister of State Petroleum Resources and APC governorship candidate in the last election, Chief Timipre Marlin Sylva.”
Also, the APC Elders Council has blasted the former President, who raised concerned over security issues that would have ensued in the state if Diri had failed to win the poll.
The elders’ council while condemning the comment in a statement by its Secretary, Clarkson Ayebaepreye, described Jonathan as one facing “political midlife crises”.
“We do not know how low Jonathan can still go in his quest to satisfy his paymasters, which sadly, as a former President, were to rightly be his subordinates. Every now and then, he is at Creek Haven jotting orders from Diri. No former President has reduced himself to such standards.
“In the issue of violence, Jonathan remembers things differently. Bayelsans have faced both physical and economic violence in the state than any other time during the last three years. It’s in the news. We the APC campaigned under a hail of violence’
“Nembe-Bassambiri was overrun by state-inspired thugs until the IGP SWAT team moved in and restored order, a move the community rejoiced over and the Governor lamented over.
“We still remember how our Chieftains and supporters were attacked at will in Kolokuma-Opokuma local Government area. There were skirmishes across the state all these are documented. So what peace is Jonathan talking about?’
“Was APC in power when he, Jonathan’s uncle was kidnapped? Was APC or Sylva in power when his house at Otuoke was attacked by gunmen? Was APC and Sylva in power when his convoy was attacked? Was APC and Sylva in power when his kinsman Mike Ogiasa was kidnapped and dehumanized?”
Meanwhile, Diri, who described Jonathan as a unique and quintessential democrat and statesman, in a congratulatory message on his 66th birthday, said the former Nigerian leader carved a niche for himself through his glowing and exemplary democratic credentials.
In the message issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, the Bayelsa governor said Jonathan remained an unrivalled pride of not only the state but also of Nigeria and indeed the African continent.
“Your credential as a global democracy ambassador and icon is outstanding. You have become a symbol of hope to nations and individuals by your exemplary conduct in public life.
“As a people and as a state, we are fortunate to have produced a leader like you that the whole world is proud of. We remain indebted for your lofty ambassadorial profile. The government and People of Bayelsa State celebrate this moment with you and your family.”(THIS DAY)