- Category: Politics
- Published on Monday, 24 May 2010 07:55
- Written by Punch
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Uduaghan, at a meeting with the Delta State Elders Council in Warri, on Saturday, claimed that such people were shielding Jonathan from relevant stakeholders, especially, those from the Niger Delta.
Although he did not give the names of these people, he said they freely peddled rumours about the disposition of Jonathan to some Niger Delta leaders, including himself, for selfish political gains.
Uduaghan, who was apparently reacting to the reports that Jonathan was not favourably disposed to some South-South governors because of their roles during the succession crisis in the Presidency, said the action of the group was not in the best interest of Jonathan.
“Let me state that no person or group of persons should try to build a wall around the Presidency and from that wall, start dispatching stories that are not true as well as blackmailing people. If you push everybody away, it may not be to our benefit because the Presidency cannot succeed in isolation,” the governor said in an email statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sunny Ogefere.
“I have refused to be pushed away. Mr. President needs the Governor of Delta State and the Governor of Delta State needs Mr. President. I have easy access to Mr. President because Mr. President recognises that I am the Governor of a critical state in Nigeria,” the statement added.
Governors of the core Niger Delta states were alleged to have funded various plots to scuttle Jonathan’s ascendancy to the Presidency before former President Umaru Yar’Adua died.
Our correspondent learnt that the governors, who had initiated moves for a truce with Jonathan, were said to be jittery that they could be dealt with by the Presidency.
However, Uduaghan, according to the statement by Ogefere, said he was not disturbed by the actions of those behind these moves.
Contrary to the belief in certain quarters especially among his political opponents in the state, Uduaghan said he enjoined cordial relationship with Jonathan.
The governor explained his roles during the controversy generated by the worsening health of Yar’Adua.
“Contrary to the impressions being created by some persons, the state (Delta State) through the active participation of myself and members of the National Assembly from the state, were involved in the emergence of the then vice- president as Acting President and President. I remain unruffled by the actions of those painting negative pictures about how the President emerged,” he stated.
Uduaghan warned that nobody should make unilateral claim as regards the elevation of Jonathan, adding that the credit belonged to all Nigerians, including himself.
He said all Nigerians, particularly those of Niger Delta extraction must join hands to ensure the success of Jonathan’s presidency. He advised his detractors to shun all activities aimed at smearing the image of the state.
Uduaghan added, “Those who truly love Mr. President should collectively work for the success of Mr. President as well as the betterment of the Niger Delta region because the success or failure of Jonathan’s Presidency will not be attributed to the President alone.
“It is our collective responsibility, not one person’s responsibility, but our collective responsibility as a people of the Niger Delta to give him (President) the maximum support.
“The success of Jonathan’s Presidency is a collective responsibility particularly for us, the people of the Niger Delta.”
The governor welcomed those planning to unseat him during the 2011 election, adding that they reserved the right to aspire to any political office.
But he warned them to eschew bitterness and operate within the ambit of the law, adding that any of them found to be involved in violence and breach of the peace would be dealt with according to the law.
The Delta Elders’ Council is chaired by Chief Gabriel Sefia and has a former Deputy Governor of the state, Chief Simeon Ebonka; Senator Fred Brume, former Minister of Information, Prof. Sam Oyonvbaire; former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Dr. Pius Sinebe ; Senator Francis Nwajei ; Prof B.I.C. Ijeoma; Prof. Abednego Ekoko and Senator Stella Omu as some of its members.