Jonathan Has Failed Nigerians Says Ijaw Congress

Umbrella body of Ijaw people worldwide, the Ijaw National Congress (INC), has told President Goodluck Jonathan to forget the “idea being touted around him by proxies” that he can run again for the Presidency in 2015.

Jonathan himself has consistently declared that comments on the 2015 Presidential election were pre-mature, saying he would only open up on the matter in 2014.

But the INC said whatever the President was going to say in 2014 does not matter to it.

“The President’s body language may show he wants to run, proxies may be everywhere sounding people out; but in truth, we do not think President Goodluck Jonathan is prepared to run.

“Judging by his actions and inactions, we are seeing an unprepared President; as such, he should rather forget about the idea being touted by proxies because he has rubbished the goodwill of all Nigerians who voted for him overwhelmingly in 2011,” President of the INC (Worldwide), Joshua Benaimesia, told Daily Independent in an exclusive interview.

Besides, the INC said it backs previous comments credited to ex-Niger Delta militants, Mujaheed Asari-Dokubo, Ebikabowei Victor Ben and Ateke Tom, adding that it (INC) was “equally as disappointed as the trio.”

“The gentlemen may have expressed their personal comments, but the truth remains that the issues they have raised are very vital, fundamental and of immense consequence to the people,” the Ijaw leader said.

This is the third time in less than four weeks that Jonathan’s kinsmen will cast aspersions on his administration, decrying the lack of federal presence in the Niger Delta region since he became President.

Leader of the outlawed Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Asari-Dokubo, together with Boyloaf and Ateke Tom, have decried the deplorable condition of the East-West road which they described as death zone.

The position of the INC leader, which appears to have given potency to the comments of the ex-warlords, was coming on the heels of a tour of the East-West road by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe.

Benaimesia said: “As far as we are concerned as Ijaw and at the level of the INC, we are equally as disappointed as Dokubo, Boyloaf and Ateke Tom.

“Before he came on board, President Jonathan made promises to the people of the Niger Delta region; as at now, nothing is on ground to show that the good days are near.

“The President may mean well, but he has failed to critically examine those in his cabinet with a view to excusing those whose ideas are not in tandem with his. In order words, he has failed to bring out the best in our people to help him deliver his promises to Nigerians.

“Today, people say we now have a President of Ijaw extraction, of Niger Delta extraction, but where is the result of that toga? We can’t continue to keep quiet because other ethnic groups are watching us.

“The President is from Bayelsa, there is no federal presence in the state; the East-West road is almost collapsing to the level of disuse,” the Ijaw leader said.

Asked what specific things the people of the region wanted the President to do, the INC helmsman said: “So many things are begging for attention. The East-West road is what I have just told you; but it is not the only thing. The man (Jonathan) should re-organise his team and bring out the best in all Nigerians.

“He should bring on board more technically minded persons to man strategic ministries so that the nation can have relief; he should tackle corruption and fight insecurity, he should make power available to Nigerians.

“He must tap the best hands and not rely on those whose interests are merely personal and parochial.”

Benaimesia expressed regrets that since Jonathan came on board in 2011, the INC had made several efforts to have audience with him but that all such attempts have been frustrated by those he alleged are feeding the President with lies.

“How do we see the President to register our position or grievances? We have made several attempts but all have been frustrated by those close to him in the Villa.

“There are so many cocky persons around him in the Villa who are feeding him with lies, hence our efforts have been frustrated; even letters written to the President are not responded to, it is as bad as that.”

Above all, Benaimesia said the INC does not believe Jonathan was ready to run in 2015, and that if he desires to do so, he should forget the idea.

“People threatened to make this country ungovernable if they were not allowed to produce the President and suddenly, there is Boko Haram and the President is playing born-again; power is failing and dwindling before our very eyes and some people are touting Jonathan 2015; the East-West road is impassable and we say the man should contest.

“Are we going to manufacture the zeal and enthusiasm to root for him? How many Nigerians are ready to go to the streets and say Jonathan should run again?

“We in Ijawland, we don’t deceive ourselves, the man should forget the idea of 2015 now and fix our nation, that is the only time the goodwill of the people which has been rubbished will be renewed,” Benaimesia added.


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