2011 Presidency: Conduct elections and go- Niger Delta militants tell Jonathan

2010-07-12
THE SUN Newspaper- Femi Folaranmi

A militant group, Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC), has warned that those nudging President Goodluck Jonathan to contest next year’s presidential election would ruin him.

According to the group, not every Niger Deltan wanted Jonathan to contest the 2011 presidential election, as many would prefer him to “just conduct credible elections and then leave the same way he came.”

The JRC, in a statement signed by Cynthia Whyte, said forces that wanted to manipulate a Third Term for former President Olusegun Obasanjo were at work in the Jonathan presidency.

While describing the forces as “diversionary, divisive and very distracting,” the group added that they were investing so much energy into the “Jonathan must run” project like the “Youths Earnestly Ask for Abacha” and Obasanjo’s Third Term campaign.

The JRC expressed disappointment that after he became President, Jonathan was yet to take a bold step on the development of Niger Delta.

It warned that unless Jonathan focused on allowing his presidency have a positive impact on the people of the Niger Delta, those calling on him to run for the presidency in 2011 would ruin him.

The statement reads in part: “Months after he assumed position as Acting President and then President of the Nigerian state, Jonathan is yet to make any bold move towards development in the Niger Delta. Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) continues to shortchange the people of the Niger Delta in the award of oversea scholarships for graduates and post graduates.

“Roads are not being awarded or contracted in the Niger Delta. Employment is not being created in the Niger Delta. The quality of political leadership in the Niger Delta is still very poor. So tell me, what value has a Jonathan presidency brought to the people of the Niger Delta?

“With the coming of President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, there was hope in certain quarters that the Niger Delta may get a far better deal. It is beginning to dawn on these people that it would certainly not be so. Apart from a deeply flawed amnesty programme that focuses on the rehabilitation of so-called ex-combatants and bandit elements from the creeks, nothing else is being done.

“There is belief in certain quarters that Yar’Adua was far more concerned in the development of the Niger Delta than Goodluck Jonathan. Spent forces who still seek relevance are bent on ruining Jonathan.

“Rather than correctly advise, guide and counsel Jonathan on how he can strengthen the course of development in the Niger Delta, these people have channeled all their energies into making noise and joining issues on whether Jonathan should run or whether zoning in PDP is real or not. The current trend amongst Southern politicians at the moment is to sing the ‘Jonathan Must Run’ swan song.”

 

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