BY CHARLES KUMOLU
Chief Sunny Onuesoke, Special Project Director, Delta State Governor’s Office, in this interview speaks on the letter of Former President Olusegun Obasanjo to Jonathan, the vision of Jonathan for Nigerians and his chances of clinching the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP, Presidential ticket in 2015. Excerpts:
What is your assessment of Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter to President Goodluck Jonathan?
There is an element of inconsistency in the letter of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Goodluck. There is an inconsistency in the sense that as a former head of state, he should not have sent the letter to the media. He was the one that is instrumental to the installation of President Goodluck Jonathan.
If Jonathan is doing things that are not in the right perspective, the normal thing for him to do is that he would have gone straight to Jonathan to discuss the issue . He has access to Aso Rock. He would have gone to him to say my son what is happening? You are derailing instead of going to the press to whip up sentiment and put unwanted colouration on issues that are not supposed to be issue. I am only against him going to the public to display such a letter.
In the letter, Obasanjo advised President Jonathan not to go for second term. What is your position on that?
It is not Obasanjo that will tell Nigerians that Jonathan will not be contesting as President for second term. It is Jonathan that will tell the 160 million Nigerians if he will contest or not and we will believe. Even if Obasanjo had a private discussion with the President that is not an issue before the masses. It is the responsibility of Nigerian masses for Jonathan to consult us. Nigeria is bigger than Obasanjo and anybody he claimed Jonathan consulted.
He is wrong to say Jonathan should not go for second term. Did he consult anybody before he wanted to go for a third term? Why didn’t he wait for the masses to resist Jonathan? Why are Northern elites and governors dictating to Nigerians who is going to be the leader of this country? For Christ sake, it is we that Jonathan should consult and not Obasanjo and few elements. It is unacceptable to Nigerian masses.
Let it be known that I am speaking on behalf of Nigerian masses. I am not speaking for the elites, the politicians or those in appointment. It is we the masses that will decide if Jonathan will contest or not and not few elements like Obasanjo and his cohorts.
Before now, Obasanjo had criticised Jonathan. Do you think he has any hidden agenda against the President as being alleged?
He couldn’t have been attacking Jonathan because he is not legitimate enough to attack the President. The things Jonathan has done are projects of legacy. What did he do when he was the President? He privatised Nigerians into private hands. He promised to fix NEPA for eight years but he left it worse than he met it. He ran down the economy and infrastructures of the country. But today the railways are running. Electricity is almost constant.
Obasanjo killed the national airline. But today we are about setting up the national airline. And he is telling me he has the legitimacy to challenge the President. Can Obasanjo compare his report of eight years to that of Jonathan for four years? What are we talking about? It is high time we search for answers. No man, nobody is bigger than Nigeria. Not even Obasanjo or Jonathan. The decision of this country lies on 160 million people of this country not selected few elites who arrogate power to themselves selfishly.
No fewer than 37 PDP members of House of Representative recently defected to APC and this no doubt showed that PDP is losing its majority in the House. What is the implication of the defection to your party?
What are the popularity of those PDP members who defected to APC in their constituency? You would have asked if members of the House of Assembly defected along with them? You would have asked if their Deputy Governors defected along with them? Those who defected, did they win their election to the House of Representative? What is the integrity of those members who defected?
What is their popularity? The 37 members who defected to APC are insignificant to Nigeria’s swing votes. You do not look at someone defecting. Look at the followership. They were not representing the people. They defected for their personal and selfish gain.
They knew quite well that they cannot come back to the House because of their lack of popularity and acceptance to their people. They defected because their people rejected them. They did not defect because there was something wrong with PDP.
Their defections made Nigerians to believe that they are in the House for their self interest.