Former President Goodluck Jonathan has denied endorsing Ali Modu Sheriff as the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
News made rounds online few hours ago that former President Goodluck Jonathan, had on Monday, endorsed Ali Modu-Sheriff as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the party’s key stakeholders, including governors, Board of Trustees, had already passed a vote of confidence in the Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee.
In a statement issued on his behalf by Ikechukwu Eze, his media aide, the former president, in a swift reaction to the viral reports, denied ever endorsing Sheriff who had paid him a visit at his home in the federal capital Abuja, adding that he only received Sheriff in the interest of peace.
The statement said Jonathan met Ahmed Makarfi, chairman of the other faction of the PDP, and Walid Jibrin, chairman of the party’s board of trustees (BoT), after Sheriff left.
“Jonathan as a former president and foremost leader of the party welcomed Sheriff and some of his supporters to his house, in line with a mediation role he is playing towards unifying and strengthening the PDP,” Eze said in a statement.
“Indeed, it may interest you to know that after meeting with Sheriff, the former president also met with Senator Ahmed Makarfi, leader of the PDP caretaker committee, and the party’s board of trustees chairman, Senator Walid Jubril, later in the evening.
“As a peace-loving leader of the party, the former president’s interest is to help reposition PDP to enable it play a constructive role in the affairs of the nation, in view of the imperative of deepening the nation’s democracy.
“I wish to let those spinning this falsehood know that it just doesn’t add up to fly a contrived banner of endorsement in one breath, and in another, concede that the former president explained his commitment in meeting with different interest groups, towards resolving the differences in the party.”
Eze reproduced the exact words of Jonathan in the meeting with Sheriff. He also appreciated the interest shown in covering activities of Jonathan, but urged journalists to avoid misleading the public.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the following are the former president’s exact words during the interview with newsmen, as had accurately been reported by most online and major national newspapers, as well as broadcast organisations: ‘We (PDP) are not factionalised. We are one.
“We are solving our problems. There are bound to be differences in politics. It is the way we resolve these differences that make us human beings and that is what makes us leaders. I have met with Sheriff. And I have met with others.
“While we appreciate the interest of journalists in the coverage of the activities of the former president, we urge accurate and constructive reporting, as it is a known fact that we cannot truly develop our nation, if journalists continue to twist and fabricate stories with the intent of misinforming the public.”