The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, South-South league, has said former President Goodluck Jonathan would not contest the 2019 presidential election.
The group said this while dismissing claims that Jonathan wanted to hijack the party structure in Bayelsa state for his presidential ambition in 2019.
In a statement by its Chairman, Barr. Ariolu Tebidapa (Delta State) and the Secretary, Akpan Ibibio (Akwa-Ibom state), the body claimed that those against the interest of the party were behind the allegation.
Noting that the PDP had zoned its presidency to the North, the body warned against any attempt to ridicule the image of the immediate past president.
The body maintained that if Jonathan was interested in anything, it was how to reposition PDP at the national level to “push forward his vision for Nigeria.”
The statement reads, “It is obvious, that since after the supreme court judgement that laid to rest the leadership crisis that rocked the PDP, some persons within the party in the region, are still not settled due to the role they played, in spite of the fact that the party has granted amnesty to all those who worked against the interest of the party.
“These persons see the former President, Goodluck Jonathan as a threat, hence their reactions in trying to attack his personality.
“We have read in the dailies about some persons insinuating that the former President, intends hijacking the party structure in Bayelsa State, in order to actualize his presidential ambition.
“This however, sounds laughable; we see it as an attempt to ridicule the former President.
“His Excellency, former President Goodluck Jonathan is not contesting for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, even though he is well qualified constitutionally and by pedigree, because he is still widely loved and accepted by Nigerians.
“However, the PDP has zoned it’s presidency to the Northern part of Nigeria. So, we wonder what these fifth columnists really want to achieve by selling falsehood.
“It is also not true that the former President is attempting to hijack the party structure in Bayelsa State. We consider this story as an imagination from those who are being chased by their shadow. As the leader of the party, how can he (Jonathan) be interested in only one state, when the party is preparing for elective congresses and National convention?
“If at all former President Goodluck Jonathan is interested in anything, it should rather be who leads the party at the National level to push forward his vision for Nigeria.
“Consequently, we consider all these as attempts to distract the attention of the former President, at a time when he is busy working with other party leaders and focusing his attention on how to reposition our great party and Nigeria for the challenges ahead.
“Former President Goodluck Jonathan has made the South-South region proud during his service as President, with his achievements of international reckoning and sacrifice to keep Nigeria United. We think he deserves every respect and regard.
“There is no amount of blackmail or insult by these detractors, no matter how hard they try, that can erase the achievements of former President Goodluck Jonathan.”