General News

Jonathan questions Buhari’s victory   

John Bull
@johnbull | Updated 02 Aug. 2018

President Goodluck Jonathan onThursday picked holes in theresults of the March 28 presidentialelection saying “the PeoplesDemocratic Party couldn’t have gotthose kinds of scores” it had insome places.Jonathan who spoke shortly afterreceiving the report of the SenatorAhmadu Ali-led PDP PresidentialCampaign Organisation at thePresidential Villa Abuja howeveradvised that since the generalelections were over the countrymust be allowed to move forward.He added that apart from himselfthat quickly conceded defeat to theAll Progressives Congresscandidate Muhammadu Buhari many PDP members also madesacrifices because they werepersecuted in the course ofelectioneering.The President said “The problem isnot whether we lost the elections that is history but how do weconsolidate our party and moveforward? If we are committed andwe work hard definitely the PDPwill bounce back.“The PDP is still the dominantparty. If you look at the results thedifference is just 2.5 million votesand if you look at the areas where itis perceived that the PDP scored solow the PDP couldn’t have gotthose kinds of scores but theelections are over so the countryfirst.“It is not as if Jonathan alone madethe sacrifice it is all of us. I madethe pronouncement but some of usare paying the price.“Some people pay more price thanI do I know how some of you arealready being persecuted and thekind of situation facing you.“The key thing is that we mustcontinue to unite as a party; wemust continue to work hard so thatas we go into subsequent electionsin 2019 2023 and so on and so forth the PDP will continue to come upstrong. Even in the interest of thenation we need the PDP.“I still believe though we have lostpresidential election someNational Assembly elections governorship elections especiallyin the North the PDP is still thedominant party.“Let us not judge the PDP by theresults of the elections for thepresidential election.“Our duty is to go back and identifyareas of challenges so that theparty will come up strong and playthe role as a very strong party. ThePDP is still the most organisedparty is still the party that is notowned by anybody is still the partythat whatever you are you can getto any level with yourcompetencies and so on.”The President also said that allmembers of the PDP who defectedto the APC would return withempty stomachs.He said that it was not unlikely thatthe APC leaders would first settletheir members before thinking ofthose who joined them midway.Jonathan added that “food” mighthave finished before it gets to theturn of the PDP defectors .He urged party faithful to remaincommitted to the PDP adding thateven if it was difficult in thebeginning; their aim would beachieved at last.The President said “I encouragemembers of our party to remainloyal to the party; not to be sodisillusioned because we lostpresidential election and decide togo where they think they will filltheir stomachs or something.“It is not easy. I have been here forfive years plus you hardly satisfyeven 15 per cent of those who workfor you.“So those people running andthose already cross-carpeting theywill come back on an emptystomach because they will touchthe primary members of their partybefore they get to them.“They know you are comingbecause you are hungry; andbefore it will get to you the foodwill be gone.“So let us be committed to theparty yes we will have challengesat the beginning but surely we willget to where we want to be.”The President said although he didnot consult before calling Buharion the telephone to concededefeat he took that step on behalfof the PDP.“Yes I did not consult anybodybefore I made that phone call (toBuhari) but I made that phone callon behalf of all of you and on behalfof the PDP “ he said.Jonathan likened the 2015 electionsto the nation’s civil war sayingpeople would give differentaccounts of the event dependingon the angle from where they werereporting.He however said because of hisprivileged position he knew aboutthe elections more than any otherperson.He said the issue was not about hiselectoral loss but the need toconsolidate the party and moveforward.He said “The issues of this 2015elections will be similar to the civilwar because different people gavedifferent accounts of the civil war.“The first book on civil war that Iread was ‘My Command’ by ChiefOlusegun Obasanjo which is hisperspectives on what he saw andobserved. I recall (Chukwuemeka)Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s own was‘Because I’m Involved.’“I know that the issues of the 2015general elections may be after fewyears when political scientists willwrite we will get differentperspectives.“If you ask the various observergroups each will give you adifferent perspective. Even amongourselves whenever we talksometimes I laugh when peopledraw some of their analysis but bymy privileged position I know alittle more about the elections thanothers.“But the key thing is not whetherwe lost or won but that Nigeria as anation must move forward. Politicalparties can only thrive when thereis peace and stability in thecountry. If there is militaryintervention all the parties willdisappear.”The President also argued thatdespite the loss that the PDPsuffered in all the elections itremained the dominant party inthe country.Jonathan expressed delight thatcountries that brought ships toNigeria and were waiting toevacuate their citizens in case post-election crisis broke out did nothave any reason to do so.The Chairman Board of Trustees ofthe PDP Chief Tony Anenih attributed PDP’s loss to what hecalled conspiracies and betrayals bypeople trusted by the party chiefs.Anenih however said they neededto put that behind them and look athow they could build a party thatwould serve as a vibrant oppositionto the APC.“There is a lot to be done. We needa very vibrant and strong party thatcan stand in as a strong oppositionparty; a party that can stand well inthe next election. That party has tobe put in place now. I believe thatwe are on the right path ” he said.Ali said the lessons learnt from theelections would be used to wrestpower from the APC in 2019.He said it was saddening that thePDP lost despite all the energy itput into the electioneering.Ali also said the report wouldprovide a road map for the PDP tomove forward.He described the campaigns in the36 states of the federation aslargely successful except for a fewincidents in some states.