‘Jonathan refused to work with people who know the game’ – Ibrahim Mantu

In an interview with Premium Times, Ibrahim Mantu, a former Deputy President of the Senate and a close associate of former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, speaks on the reasons why Jonathan lost the 2015 general elections.

Mantu noted that Nigerians were tired of the Peoples Democratic Party and that the PDP was ‘over drunk with power’ and ‘suffering from hangover, fatigue.’

He stated that he knew that Jonathan would lose the election: “I knew now. Did you see me there? If I had not known, you would have seen me neck deep in the campaign. At least, I am not a small player in the PDP.”

“Jonathan lost because he refused to work with people who know the game. Most of the people Jonathan worked with were mediocres and amateurs. At a point in time, he even left the party machinery and employed some consultants to work for him.

Asked who the consultants and amateurs Jonathan worked with were, Mantu said that: “I don’t know. There are many of them. They came to Eagle Square and said they have 75 million signatures.”

“Where were the 75 million people when we were voting? Politics is a grassroots game. When you don’t use your structure at the grassroots, you will lose. How many people watch television? Those that have don’t have light. So, when you say you are using television to campaign, you are wasting your time. Campaign is at the grassroots level.”

Speaking on the leadership crisis rocking the PDP, Mantu noted that: “You know the party has internal resolution mechanism. In the last few days, it was as if we were parallel lines and would never meet.”

“The BoT, NWC, Governors’ Forum, Former Ministers’ Forum had different positions. National caucus had different position. But eventually, the national caucus and the NWC had common position. Yesterday, there was a meeting of representatives of all these organs and we were able to arrive at a consensus. We agreed that the best thing for us is to go to convention. We agreed to conduct a proper convention in three months.”

“So, since convention is around the corner, we agreed Ali Modu Sherrif should remain Chairman; after all, the arrangement was that he was coming to complete the North East tenure. This time around, I believe the chairman is coming from the South, but I don’t know which part of the South. North East term ends at the convention; so, we don’t have to tear ourselves apart.”

While speaking on why the PDP lost the election, the former Deputy Senate President said: “People were already tired of PDP. PDP was suffering from hangover, fatigue.”

“Sixteen years in power uninterrupted is not easy in a country like Nigeria. Then, PDP became over drunk with power. We were staggering. We missed our road. We were no longer respecting the people. Virtually everywhere, APC votes came from PDP members who were angry with the party.”

He, however, stated that it was too early to judge the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

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