The Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has dismissed President Goodluck Jonathan’s declaration that the PDP will take over Rivers State in the 2015 general elections.
President Jonathan had in PDP rallies in Owerri, Lafia, Sokoto and most recently, Minna expressed confidence that the party would regain the five states whose governors defected to the opposition.
The states are — Kano, Sokoto, Kwara, Rivers and Adamawa.
But Amaechi, who spoke through his Chief of Staff, Chief Tony Okocha, said over 90 per cent of the voting population in Rivers State were members of the APC.
He explained that those thinking that PDP would win APC in any election in the state must be hallucinating, adding that the situation on the grounds was not favourable to the PDP.
“For anybody to declare that the PDP will take over Rivers in 2015 is mere hallucination. It (PDP winning Rivers in 2015) is not possible. I cannot talk about any other state, but I am sure that APC is in full control of Rivers State.
“You can see that Rivers is an APC state and they can’t take it. More than 90 per cent of the voting population in Rivers State is APC. Apart from being APC members, they are also adherents of APC. So, PDP cannot take the state away from APC,” the governor said.
Also reacting to Jonathan’s declaration, the Interim National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said statements credited to the President should give every right thinking Nigerian a cause for concern.
He said it was particularly worrisome that the President was using the deteriorating security situation in some parts of the country to play divisive politics.
He said, “What I can say is that from the President’s statement in Nasarawa where he said that they would get back Nasarawa and once they get Nasarawa, all the crisis in Nasarawa will be a thing of the past.
“Is that not saying that, they know about it already? And that they are behind it? That, coming from a President is very destabilising for the country.
“In other words, what the President is saying is that they are behind the crisis and the killings in Nasarawa State.
“Otherwise, why would they have to wait for Nasarawa to become PDP before they put an end to the killings? Knowing full well that the Federal Government has full control of the military and the police I think Mr. President should explain to Nigerians what is happening.”
Speaking in a similar vein, the Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, said unless the President was saying that he had no plans to have a free and fair elections in 2015, there was no way he (Jonathan) could return to power.
He said there was no way the PDP could get the Presidency in 2015 if there was a free and fair election because the party had failed in all key indices of governance.
Nyako, who spoke through his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Ahmad Sajoh, said the President and the leadership of the PDP should look inwards for the cause of the nation’s woes because they were directly responsible for most of what was wrong with the polity.
He said “Our advice to him and his party, is to look inwards and see what is going wrong around him. He is junketing and visiting traditional rulers in places where nothing is happening, he has forgot to visit places where people are being killed daily, where innocent people are being slaughtered.
“He has a responsibility to the people of this country not to contest for the Presidency in 2015 but to provide leadership for Nigerians between now and 2015.
“He has to secure the lives and property of Nigerians between now and then to ensure free and fair elections and ensure confidence in the democracy. These are the challenges before him; this is much more than his desperation to return to power in 2015.”
When contacted, the Director of Press and Public Relations to the Kano State governor, Baba Dantiye, said comments made by President Jonathan at various party rallies were a party affair.
“We believe the party (APC) is in a better position to respond to him.”
In response, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, said it was too early for the opposition to start fretting over the 2015 elections.
He explained that 2015 was still far away noting that the party, would not be distracted from its current objective of winning the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States.
Metuh said, “2015 is still far away. As a party, we want to take things one at a time, we are now focused on the Ekiti State election after that, we can take on other things.”
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