By Lawrence Olaoye
The Presidency has said that former President Goodluck Jonathan had enough reasons to dump the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and support the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the governorship election in Bayelsa state.
In a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by Abiodun Oladunjoye, Deputy Director, Information in the Presidency, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Garba Shehu, described as “false and irresponsible’’ reports that former president was blackmailed to support the governing party, APC, in the Bayelsa polls.
Shehu expressed shock that such a story could be considered believable to the point of being given space in some newspapers.
According to him, there were more than enough reasons for Dr Jonathan to work against his party, PDP, in the just concluded Bayelsa elections, without interference by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Anyone who has been following the politics of Bayelsa State should be aware of the sour relationship between Dr Jonathan and the incumbent governor, Seriake Dickson. That’s more than enough reason for the former president to decide to work against his party, if indeed he did.”
On claims that Jonathan was blackmailed, he said “It just doesn’t make any sense. Our media really must learn to verify whatever they publish. And people who make wild allegations during interviews should be made to produce the facts backing their claims by editors. A newspaper can be sued for granting space to people who belch false allegations against individuals with no proof.’’
Shehu said the former president had been out of power for almost five years, without any previous allegations of government blackmail cropping up.
“We really must stop this habit of blaming President Buhari for everything, including issues that are not his business,’’ he added.