Jonathan question Buhari’s victory

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President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday picked
holes in the results of the March 28 presidential
election, saying “the Peoples Democratic Party
couldn’t have got those kinds of scores” it had in
some places.
Jonathan, who spoke shortly after receiving the
report of the Senator Ahmadu Ali-led PDP
Presidential Campaign Organisation at the
Presidential Villa, Abuja, however, believed that
since the general elections were over, the country
must be allowed to move forward.
He added that apart from himself that quickly
conceded defeat to the All Progressives Congress
candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, many PDP
members also made sacrifices because they were
persecuted in the course of electioneering.
The President said, “The problem is not whether
we lost the elections; that is history, but how do
we consolidate our party and move forward? If we
are committed and we work hard, definitely the
PDP will bounce back.
“The PDP is still the dominant party. If you look at
the results, the difference is just 2.5 million votes
and if you look at the areas, where it is perceived
that the PDP scored so low, the PDP couldn’t have
got those kinds of scores but the elections are
over, so the country first.
“It is not as if Jonathan alone made the sacrifice, it
is all of us. I made the pronouncement but some of
us are paying the price.
“Some people pay more price than I do, I know
how some of you are already being persecuted
and the kind of situation facing you.
“The key thing is that we must continue to unite, as
a party; we must continue to work hard so that as
we go into subsequent elections in 2019, 2023 and
so on and so forth, the PDP will continue to come
up strong. Even in the interest of the nation, we
need the PDP.
“I still believe, though we have lost presidential
election, some National Assembly elections,
governorship elections especially in the North, the
PDP is still the dominant party.
“Let us not judge the PDP by the results of the
elections for the presidential election.
“Our duty is to go back and identify areas of
challenges so that the party will come up strong
and play the role as a very strong party. The PDP
is still the most organised party, is still the party
that is not owned by anybody, is still the party that
whatever you are, you can get to any level with
your competencies and so on.”
The President also said all members of the PDP,
who defected to the APC, would return on empty
stomachs.
He added that it was not unlikely that the APC
leaders would first “settle their members” before
thinking of those who joined them midway.
Jonathan argued that “food” might have “finished”
before it gets to the turn of the PDP defectors.
He urged party faithful to remain committed to the
PDP, adding that even if it was difficult in the
beginning, their aim would be achieved at the end.
The President said, “I encourage members of our
party to remain loyal to the party; not to be so
disillusioned because we lost presidential election
and decide to go where they think they will fill their
stomachs or something.
“It is not easy. I have been here for five years
plus, you hardly satisfy even 15 per cent of those
who work for you.
“So, those people running and those already
cross-carpeting, they will come back on an empty
stomach because they will touch the primary
members of their party before they get to them.
“They know you are coming because you are
hungry; and before it will get to you, the food will
be gone.
“So, let us be committed to the party, yes, we will
have challenges at the beginning but surely we will
get to where we want to be.”
The President said although he did not consult
before calling Buhari on the telephone to concede
defeat, he took that step on behalf of the PDP.
“Yes, I did not consult anybody before I made that
phone call (to Buhari) but I made that phone call on
behalf of all of you and on behalf of the PDP, “ he
said.
Jonathan likened the 2015 elections to the nation’s
civil war, saying people would give different
accounts of the event depending on the angle from
where they were reporting.
He however said because of his privileged position,
he knew about the elections more than any other
person.
He said the issue was not about his electoral loss,
but the need to consolidate on the gains of the
party and move forward.
He said, “The issues of the 2015 elections will be
similar to the civil war because different people
gave different accounts of the civil war.
“The first book on civil war that I read was ‘My
Command’ by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, which is
his perspectives on what he saw and observed. I
recall (Chukwuemeka) Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s own
was ‘Because I’m Involved.’
“I know that the issues of the 2015 general
elections, may be after few years when political
scientists will write, we will get different
perspectives.
“If you ask the various observer groups, each will
give you a different perspective. Even among
ourselves, whenever we talk sometimes, I laugh
when people draw some of their analysis but by
my privileged position, I know a little more about
the elections than others.
“But the key thing is not whether we lost or won
but that Nigeria as a nation must move forward.
Political parties can only thrive when there is
peace and stability in the country. If there is
military intervention all the parties will disappear.”
The President also argued that despite the loss that
the PDP suffered in all the elections, it remained
the dominant party in the country.
Jonathan expressed delight that countries that
brought ships to Nigeria and were waiting to
evacuate their citizens in case post-election crisis
broke out did not have any reason to do so.
The Chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief
Tony Anenih, attributed PDP’s loss to what he
called conspiracies and betrayals by people
trusted by the party chiefs.
Anenih however said they needed to put that
behind them and look at how they could build a
party that would serve as a vibrant opposition to
the APC.
“There is a lot to be done. We need a very vibrant
and strong party that can stand in as a strong
opposition party; a party that can stand well in the
next election. That party has to be put in place
now. I believe that we are on the right path,” he
said.
Ali noted that the lessons learnt from the elections
would be used to wrest power from the APC in
2019.
He said it was saddening that the PDP lost despite
all the energy it put into the electioneering.
Ali added that the report would provide a road map
for the PDP to move forward.
He described the campaigns in the 36 states of the
federation as largely successful except for a few
incidents in some states.

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