President Goodluck Jonathan has come out publicly to acknowledge the former governor of Bayelsa and his former boss, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, as his political benefactor.
It will be recalled that Alamieyeseigha escaped detention in the United Kingdom in December 2005 after he was arrested for money laundering in September of the same year. He has also pleaded guilty to siz charges of corruption and was sentenced to two years in prison for each of the charhes.
He said this yesterday at the Government House Caste in Yenogoa as part of his remarks speaking to leaders of the People’s Democratic Party. The event was an “expanded” state caucus meeting presided over by its governor, Seriake Dickson.
“President Jonathan who stressed that politics ought to be seen as tools for the development of the people and service to fatherland, said up until now, he could not fathom what went wrong during the last expanded caucus meeting of the PDP in the state,” said a statement after the meeting by Daniel Iworiso-Markson, who is chief press secretary to the Governor.
“Describing Chief Alamieyeseigha as his benefactor in politics, the President called on the political class to learn to be supportive of one another and put aside their grievances in the collective interest of the state, rather than creating undue tension in the polity.”
At the meeting, party members also reportedly agreed that President Jonathan be regarded as leader of the party in the state, which is a departure from the governor being seen in that position.
The motion was however moved by the governor himself, seconded by Alamieyeseigha and then formerly adopted by the caucus after a voice vote.
Before ending the meeting, President Jonathan responded to accusations that he meddles in local politics. “I don’t want to be in Abuja and be seen as influencing political contestants,” he said. “I will not condescend to get myself in the selection of candidates, am not interested because it won’t be fair since leadership is all about hierarchy.”