Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State, Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe, has said contrary to claims that the North and South-west ganged up against President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 28 election, the president was responsible for his defeat for failing to perform in critical areas of the nation’s needs.
Sara-Igbe, who was security adviser to former Rivers State Governor, Dr. Peter Odili, made the assertions yesterday, while addressing journalists in Port Harcourt.
Her said it was defeatist to blame the North and South-west geo-political zones for Jonathan’s failure when the same regions overwhelmingly voted for him in 2011 election.
He stressed that Jonathan lost the 2015 presidential election because of non-performance, adding that he also refused to apologise to the people for his failure during his campaigns.
“There was no gang-up against President Jonathan in the March 28 presidential elections. If Jonathan had performed well, Nigerians would have voted for him. Nigerians love Jonathan but in his last days, he recruited people who had no value and could not add value to his campaigns,” Sara-Igbe said.
He added, “President Jonathan had a sweep of the votes in the North and the South-west in the 2011 presidential election. So, at what point did these areas in Nigeria gang up against him? The truth is that he (Jonathan) did not perform and yet he did not appeal.
“There was no gang-up against President Jonathan. He would not have got the figure he scored in 2015 presidential election if there was no rigging in the South-south and the South-east geopolitical zones.”
He said the poor state of the economy; with the naira falling to an all-time low, coupled with the failure to boost electricity supply, were indices that worked against Jonathan.
He also accused Jonathan of not developing the Niger Delta region that had been rooting for him.
“Jonathan, rather than salvaging the Niger Delta people who were oppressed, became the oppressor,” he lamented.
He mentioned the failure to fully implement the amnesty programme, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), and infrastructural development of the Niger Delta region as some of the factors that led to his failure.
He said the people however voted for Jonathan because he was from the region.
He warned former militants not to fulfill their threat of going back to the creeks in protest of General Muhammad Buhari’s victory, as such action would not be acceptable to the new administration.
He warned that the Gen. Muhammadu Buhari administration would crush militancy in the region the way Jonathan crushed Boko Haram within six weeks.
“If some people in the South-south say they are going back to militancy, the new government will crush them. And you cannot talk because your brother (Jonathan) did it in the fight against Boko Haram,” he stressed.
Sara-Igbe also lamented that the South-south region had lost out in the in-coming federal government, as the region did not support the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last election.
He said it would be difficult for Rivers State to produce the senate president because the persons who returned to the senate were not in the majority party and could not be given such an opportunity.
He however called on the people of Rivers State to vote for the governorship candidate of the APC, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, in the April 11, 2015 election, adding that it would be one of the remedies for the state.
“There are remedies and one of the remedies is to vote massively for the APC candidates in Saturday’s election. If we (South-South) fail to do so, we will not have any moral right to seek to be part of the new government.
“APC governors can make case for the South-south and the South-east, but anything short of that means we are in trouble because we will not be able to hold anything in the Buhari administration,” he cautioned.
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