JONATHAN: Former Rivers Governor Appeals For Support
Former Rivers State Governor Sir Celestine Omehia has called on politicians and people of Northern Nigeria to show understanding in the interest of national unity and support the emergence of Dr Goodluck Jonathan if he decides to contest the next presidential election.
Sir Omehia made this appeal today in a press statement issued in Abuja.
Sir Omehia urged the North to take into account the existing cordial relationship between the North and the South-South and reciprocate the traditional support which the South-South has always given to the North in the past, noting that the people of South-South will expect no less from their big brothers from the North in the realisation of the divine opportunity that God has given to Dr Jonathan. He reminded them that in the past, valid votes from Rivers State alone surpassed those of every other state in the elections that enthroned the civilian Presidency of Alhaji Shehu Shagari and Alhaji�Umaru Yar'Adua
“As a person, Dr Jonathan has a history of unalloyed loyalty and it is important to note that as a Vice President, he did not do anything to betray late President Umaru Yar'Adua or the people of the North” he said, adding that even in the face of provocation, Dr Jonathan remained calm, loyal and allowed God to choose his steps.
According to Omehia, change is permanent and as human beings, we cannot have all that we desire, noting that sometimes, we make sacrifices for the overall good of the society. He further said that if the lingering debate as to the zoning of the office of president is not resolved amicably in favour of the South-South, the people will feel betrayed by their big brothers from the North. “And if that happens, it will not only harm existing bonds of unity but destroy the traditional mutual trust between the North and South-South”, he said.
Sir Omehia therefore called on Nigerians to consider the sincerity demonstrated by President Jonathan towards enthroning electoral integrity where the people's votes will count, the voluntary appointment of irrepressible Prof Jega as INEC Chairman, the release of whopping N84B for INEC and the quick assent to the Electoral Act are efforts by a man who means well for the whole nation instead of himself, he added.
“Nigerians are in search of credible leadership and it will be wise for our elders on both sides of the divide to resolve these issues through dialogue and avoid inflammatory remarks that can only overheat the polity, fan the embers of hatred and animosity” he said, adding that the bond between the North and South-South will be strengthened by a Jonathan presidency if he decides to contest.
Sir Celestine Omehia
Former Governor of Rivers State