From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

Leader of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, has explained that former president, Goodluck Jonathan, no longer associates with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because of the betrayal and ill-treatment he received when he sought re-election in 2015.

Clark stated this, yesterday, when he hosted members of Delta Central APC Leaders of Thought on a solidarity visit to his Abuja residence.

He said PDP leaders from the north, including the governors and then national chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, worked against Jonathan because they felt it was the turn of the north to produce the country’s president and that Jonathan had learnt his lesson.

The elder statesman claimed PDP governors from the north raised funds for the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate at the time, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, against Jonathan, their own presidential candidate.

He bemoaned the fact that the same northern governors in the PDP who had opposed zoning in 2015 were now discussing competence and integrity as criteria for the presidency.

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The former Federal Commissioner of Information also accused the party of manipulating the election of Atiku Abubakar as its presidential candidate in 2023.

“ From 2011, they have been worrying Jonathan. Even in 2015, the northern PDP leaders ganged up with APC, Tinubu and removed Jonathan from office. They did not campaign, Jonathan was on his own. So, when people say why is Jonathan not in PDP, attending PDP meetings, I can safely say that he’s learning his lesson that the people he trusted did not trust him. They squandered the party’s money and left. So, he knows how they betrayed him, how the northern PDP governors contributed money towards Buhari’s success, how members of government betrayed him. The national Chairman of PDP at the time was Governor Adamu Mu’azu. He did not go to his hometown to campaign, he was only following Jonathan about, he knew what he was doing. Everyone of them wanted Buhari to win, so, Buhari won. He has ruled for eight years. Now, the same northerners are now saying competence, no zoning, integrity. “

The elder statesman recalled that when governors of Southern states insisted on zoning the presidency to the South, the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), of which he is the leader, bought into it, regretting that despite an agreement for Southerners not to accept the running mate position to any Northern presidential candidate, Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, ignored that despite hosting one of the governors meetings in Asaba.

He said he would have voted for APC for ceding the presidency to the south if not for the Muslim-Muslim ticket.

Clark also accused Atiku of opposing Jonathan since 2010.

“Now, Atiku has been kicking against the presidency of Jonathan since 2010. He said it was their turn but today, the same Atiku and his people now said integrity. Where in Nigeria…all of you here have integrity, competence. But the only thing that your party has done that has made me to withdraw my support is this Muslim-Muslim ticket. I won’t talk about it, because I have written a statement.”

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