Former President Jonathan remains my son (4)
Continued from yesterday
I WISH to refer here to the crude and unpolished language used by Dr. Reuben Abati against me that I would have still been a PDP card carrying member if former President Jonathan had won the election. I do not know the background of Dr. Abati but for him to lie and devilishly imagined that I should have remained a PDP card carrying member if President Jonathan won the election is satanic.
No reader of The Guardian Newspaper particularly its Sunday edition will easily forget the frequently provocative columns by Dr. Reuben Abati. As the Chairman of the Editorial Board of the newspaper and syndicated columnist, Abati had a freehand to write whatever he liked in his column and could also influence other news items. I do not recall any favourable remark made by Abati all those years when he was the Chairman of the Editorial Board and syndicated columnist about the former President, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan.
If I recall correctly, they were always the butt of ridicule by Dr. Reuben Abati. In fact, he became so notorious and fearless a critic of former President Jonathan and his wife in The Guardian Newspaper that I had to draw the attention of my cousin the Proprietor of The Guardian Newspaper to his excesses. These vitriolic attacks on former President Jonathan and his wife only stopped when he was appointed the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity by the former President.
On his appointment, Aso Rock activities and Jonathan’s achievements were not sold to the people of Nigeria. Reuben Abati will recall the number of times when I called his attention to how he was being negligent of his duty as the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity by not defending President Jonathan against some of the scurrilous attacks against him and also by not promoting his image and the well-known achievements of his administration. My advice that a Publicity Committee made up of eminent journalists be put in place in Aso Rock and that Media Proprietors and Senior Journalists should be invited to Aso Rock were jettisoned by Abati because of what I suppose is his covetousness, particularly when many journalists and media houses always complained to me that he was not carrying them along.
Dr. Reuben Abati has risen to the defence of his last employer too late. He owes the former President apologise for his (Reuben Abati) failure to perform while in office. I should not be used as a scapegoat. I love Goodluck Jonathan and Goodluck Jonathan loves me.
I repeat again that I will like Dr. Abati to find out from his former boss, whether I did not intimate him of my intention that I will leave active politics sometime in 2015 and return to my village after Dr. Jonathan’s re-election as the President of Nigeria. It would be recalled that only two weeks ago, the former PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur retired from partisan politics while celebrating his 80th Birthday. Although he is much younger than I, Reuben Abati and his likes did not feel offended. I repeat, here again, that I am very proud of my family background which has produced some of the most illustrious Nigerians and that I do not shift ground or change position. I still regard former President Jonathan as my son and Jonathan remains as my son. Since the change of government, we have been in close communication on the telephone and Jonathan has visited me over four times.
When I pointed to the former President Jonathan that most of those who surrounded him were not loyal, sincere or patriotic but mere opportunists and that amongst them were: the former Chairman of PDP Dr. Adamu Mu’azu and Alhaji Hassan Turkur which became quite obvious during the Adamawa State Primaries, I did not stop there but openly criticized them in a press conference. It is, therefore, unfair and unjust for Reuben Abati and other charlatans to accuse me of saying things against former President Jonathan while he is no longer in office.
It is obvious from Reuben Abati’s action that he is still not repentant from his mischievous acts of creating disaffection between Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and his people of Niger Delta, even after his principal has left office. It is even more shameful that Dr. Abati who claims to be a cultured Yoruba man, a people who have great respect for elders, to go on this wild macabre dance to insinuate and say outright lies against an elder statesman of my age and standing. Unknown to him, more Nigerians know me as a person of strong principles and ideals than he and his likes can imagine. This is why their attacks on me have exposed them to more ridiculed in the eyes of most Nigerians than they would have ever imagined.
It is hypocritical of Dr. Reuben Abati, Sam Omatseye of the Nation Newspaper and Ochereome Nnanna of the Vanguard Newspaper who used to attack me for supporting former President Jonathan when he was in office, to now turn around to attack me for saying what I have repeatedly said even when President Jonathan was in office.
I will never seek new assimilation or join any new political association after withdrawing from partisan politics. It is Reuben Abati we all know who will soon seek realignment.
This Is My Story.
• Chief (Dr.) Clark, OFR, CON is a veteran politician.