The group says Atiku and his colleagues were bent on blackmailing President Jonathan to submission.
A non-governmental organisation, Media Network for Transformation, on Tuesday asked President Goodluck Jonathan to remain resolute and avoid allowing himself to be intimidated and blackmailed by the political hostage-taking antics of former President Atiku Abubakar and seven governors.
The group in a statement by its Coordinator, Goodluck Ebelo, said it observed with keen interest recent happenings in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), particularly the walkout masterminded by Mr. Atiku and six governors during the party’s special national convention held at the Eagle Square on Saturday.
The governors are Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Muazu Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Aliyu Wamako (Sokoto), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Abdulfata Ahmed (Kwara).
The group said while it appreciated the right of persons, including the protesting politicians to aspire to any political office in the land, it denounced the glaring conspiracy to make President Goodluck Jonathan a hostage of their individual ambitions.
“We wish to state that the premeditated walkout at the Eagle Square, last Saturday and the demands of these politicians smack of blackmail. We, therefore call on Mr. President to be resolute and resist this weather beaten gambit, a treachery and mischief, designed to cow him. He should have zero-tolerance to political hostage taking,” the groups said.
Describing Saturday’s incident as a display of shame by a group of politicians with smouldering ambition to be President in 2015, adding that while the attempt to succeed Mr Jonathan was a legitimate aspiration, pointing out that to demand that the President should deny himself what the constitution affords him was intolerable hubris.
It called on the President and all leaders of the PDP loyal and faithful to the party to immediately discontinue the ongoing negotiations with these men “with self serving, ill-disguised ambitions,” adding that” what becomes of any ambition, including Mr President’s, is in the hands of Nigerians not a motley crowd of turn coats.”
While welcoming the wish of the politicians to remain in the PDP, the group urged members to ensure that their intimidation, treachery and blackmail would not derail the genuine intentions of President Goodluck Jonathan.
“It is common knowledge that a leader of this group once left the party and at the end, neither the PDP nor its presidential candidate, (the late Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua), who defeated him in the 2007 Presidential election, felt any pinch from his absence,” the group said.
“We are of the opinion that the performance of the Jonathan Administration in the first four years would give the opportunity to the Nigerian people to decide whether or not to give him a second term in office. It does not lie in the mouth of champions of sectionalism to hijack that decision from Nigerians
“We urge the Nigerian citizenry to be more observant as we move closer to 2015. We cannot afford to allow political desperation to derail democratic governance that caused this country so much to achieve.”
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