by Hauwa Gambo
Touch not the anointed son of Ijaw Land.
It’s a message Dr. Sam Jaja, deputy national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), obviously hadn’t heard before his reported statements indicating that House of Representatives members are justified in seeking to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to him, while briefing journalists on behalf of the PDP’s National Working Committee, the president has indeed made some blunders, but the party is working hard to paper over them.
“It is not a fluke that they (Reps) are not making any sense, it is not also a fluke that the president is making errors that require impeachment,” he said.
That statement has got elders and activists from the Niger Delta furious, according to a Punch report. According to the paper, despite the fact that Jaja is also from the Niger Delta, the president’s kinsmen are convinced the party is giving tacit support to those who want the president removed.
According to the president of the Conference of Ethnic Nationalities of Niger Delta and former president of the Ijaw National Congress Prof. Kimse Okoko, Jaja’s comments are “irresponsible”.
“Coming from someone from the Niger Delta, it is a conspiracy theory,” Okoko said. “Let him tell us what the impeachable errors are. Unless he says so it will be unfair for him to come up with this conspiracy theory. It is an irresponsible statement because he has not mentioned the errors.”
Okoko also responded to the issue of 100 per cent budget implementation. “I consider that reason unacceptable because there is hardly any country in the world where budgets are implemented to the tune of 100 per cent, especially in our country where budgets are determined by the proceeds of the oil we sell,” he said. “To expect 100 per cent performance from Jonathan is mischievous.”
Not surprisingly, Ankio Briggs, spokesperson of the Ijaw Republican Assembly, Ankio Briggs, who has been militant in defending the president, called the party’s position horrifying.
“It can now be categorically said that not only are there agitators within the nation from a particular zone to de-stabilise Jonathan’s government, there are people even from the Niger Delta zone and this is very frightening,” she said.
Stanley Damabide, former chairman of the Bayelsa chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association also added his voice. “Our greatest fear is conspiracy,” he said. “The statement is to a large extent immature and not responsible considering the current state of the country and the fact that whatever disagreement or crisis at hand has not reached a level where it cannot be managed and corrected internally.”