GROUP URGES JONATHAN TO WOO EX-LEADERS
A non-governmental socio-political group, Omoilu Foundation, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to allow those it described as 'idle and expired political jobbers' to come between him and his predecessors.
In a statement signed by its Vice Chairman, Alhaji M. B. Idris, the group advised Jonathan to woo them and tap from their rich experience and exposure.
This, it said, is imperative because 'irrespective of whatever anybody says, experience cannot be bought, you have to undergo it. You cannot wave aside the experience of people like General Yakubu Gowon, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, General Muhammadu Buhari, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and General Abdulsalami Abubakar, just to mention a few. That is why people like our own Chief Obasanjo and General Abubakar are being sought after internationally. '
The statement reads in part: 'We call on the President to woo his predecessors and tap from the pool of experience available to him. He is lucky to have around him an array of past leaders as enumerated above. He should make conscious efforts to court them as the nation's former leaders, beyond their being members of the National Council of State.
'Specifically, we recall a recent news report credited to the former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Ahmadu Ali, where he was quoted as saying Obasanjo did not nominate Jonathan as the late president Umaru Yar'Adua's running mate; that it was the late Yar'Adua's sole decision. 'Although, as an elder statesman, Obasanjo maintained a dignified silence, we reckon that it was a less than clever way to rewrite recent history and cause a wedge between the President and Chief Obasanjo. Thankfully, Ali's claim was punctured by the former presidential spokesman, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, in his column in ThisDay, penultimate week.
'Adeniyi said he was invited to a meeting where the decision to nominate either Jonathan or General Owoeye Azazi (retd) instead of ex-Rivers State governor, Peter Odili was taken. Neither Yar'Adua nor Obasanjo was there but the meeting was held in the Abuja home of his former aide, Dr. Andy Uba. The two names were then presented to the then president Obasanjo, and in the end, Jonathan was picked.'