Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja
A former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, has said there are indications that the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, is under stress.
He explained that the stress could be as a result of workload and that he (Oshiomhole) was also working for what he called a floundering government.
Jonathan said these in a statement in Abuja, on Wednesday, while reacting to a claim by Oshiomhole that vote-buying started under the former president.
The former president, whose statement was signed by his media aide, Mr Ikechukwu Eze, also described Oshiomhole as a man of double identity.
The statement was titled, “Oshiomhole: The burden of blame game and tumultuous leadership.”
Oshiomhole, while being featured on a Channels Television programme, Roadmap, was quoted to have said, “President Jonathan started this massive vote buying in Nigeria and the media must play back and do a proper interview and proper investigation to discover the origin of vote- buying.”
Jonathan said he did not know why Oshiomhole decided to engage in what he described as misleading falsehood.
But he said the former governor could be under pressure.
He said, “We can only guess that Mr Oshiomhole, who is currently operating under tremendous stress in the bid to steady the already floundering ship of his administration as the new leader of his party, may have got himself entangled in a voyage of tactless desperation.
“His recent flip-flops where he praised Governor Samuel Ortom and Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso one day only to denounce them the very next day, is enough evidence of his fragile psychological state.
“Not only is he content on squabbling with members of the opposition, we note the self-destructive tendencies of Oshiomhole, who is locked in a feud with members of his own party, including the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, and a host of APC governors.
“It appears that Mr Oshiomhole’s psychological strain may have reached boiling point.”
The statement noted that vote-buying became known during the 2016 governorship election, more than a year after Jonathan left office.
According to the statement, “On the vexatious issue of ‘vote-buying’, which has unfortunately found its way into our election lexicon, this is what we know: It is obvious that the shameful development in our democratic experience became very glaring during the 2016 governorship election in Edo State; an exercise that took place more than one year after President Jonathan had left office.
“It is, therefore, disingenuous for any politician or group to link the former president with the anomaly, no matter how they want to stretch the now-failing blame game.
“While in office as president between 2010 and 2015, Jonathan conducted many elections including the 2011 and 2015 general elections, and many off-season governorship and parliamentary elections in some states like Anambra, Ekiti, Ondo and Edo; and not for once did the issue of vote-buying come up in the assessment of those elections.
“It is instructive that in each case, the former President was given a clean bill, with both local and international observers commending him for having supervised a credible and transparent process.”
Eze said one of those who gave the former President a clean bill of health was Oshiomhole.
According to him, Oshiomhole was quoted to have said on July 16, 2012, that “What the Edo election has confirmed is that when the President and Commander-in-Chief puts the country first and he conducts himself as a statesman not just as a party leader, credible elections are possible.”
He said when the above statement is juxtaposed with Oshiomhole’s current statement, “it becomes obvious that the APC chairman is suffering from multiple personality syndrome and has Jekyll and Hyde schizophrenia.”
Eze added that the wave of commendation for Jonathan’s electoral conduct had continued, long after he had left office.
For example, he said in November 2017, a United Nations delegation led by Ambassador Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, and Chairman of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission, had commended Jonathan for the positive outcome of the electoral reforms he initiated during his tenure, and prayed that the institutions he had built and the high standards he had set in organising credible and peaceful elections were maintained and sustained by his successors. (Punch)