I Received Sheriff In The Interest Of Peace, Not Endorsement –Jonathan
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has debunked the news making the rounds about him endorsing Ali Modu Sheriff as National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Sheriff, since the Appeal Court recognised him as chairman of the opposition party, has been going about consulting stakeholders.
He visited Ibrahim Babangida, former military ruler, over the weekend, and was with Jonathan on Monday.
After the meeting, there were reports that Jonathan had endorsed the PDP leader. But in a statement issued on his behalf by Ikechukwu Eze, his media aide, the former president said he only received Sheriff in the interest of peace.
The statement said Jonathan met Ahmed Makarfi, chairman of the other faction of the PDP, and Walid Jibrin, chairman of the party’s board of trustees (BoT), after Sheriff left.
“Jonathan, as a former president and foremost leader of the party, welcomed Sheriff and some of his supporters to his house, in line with a mediation role he is playing towards unifying and strengthening the PDP,” Eze said in a statement.
“Indeed, it may interest you to know that after meeting with Sheriff, the former president also met with Senator Ahmed Makarfi, leader of the PDP caretaker committee, and the party’s board of trustees chairman, Senator Walid Jubril, later in the evening.
“As a peace-loving leader of the party, the former president’s interest is to help reposition PDP to enable it play a constructive role in the affairs of the nation, in view of the imperative of deepening the nation’s democracy.
“I wish to let those spinning this falsehood know that it just doesn’t add up to fly a contrived banner of endorsement in one breath, and in another, concede that the former president explained his commitment in meeting with different interest groups, towards resolving the differences in the party.”
Eze reproduced the exact words of Jonathan in the meeting with Sheriff.
He also appreciated the interest shown in covering activities of Jonathan, but urged journalists to avoid misleading the public.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the following are the former president’s exact words during the interview with newsmen, as had accurately been reported by most online and major national newspapers, as well as broadcast organisations: ‘We (PDP) are not factionalised. We are one. We are solving our problems. There are bound to be differences in politics. It is the way we resolve these differences that make us human beings and that is what makes us leaders. I have met with Sheriff. And I have met with others.
“While we appreciate the interest of journalists in the coverage of the activities of the former president, we urge accurate and constructive reporting, as it is a known fact that we cannot truly develop our nation, if journalists continue to twist and fabricate stories with the intent of misinforming the public.”