The rumour that former president Goodluck Jonathan is planning to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) to pursue a presidential ambition has been dismissed.
Jonathan has affirmed his loyalty to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), describing the party as an organization that carries people along.
The former president made the statement at a thanksgiving service held to mark the one-year administration of Governor Douye Diri in Bayelsa State.
Talks of Jonathan defecting to the APC emerged late last year after some governors of the party visited him at his Abuja residence.
Though the former president had earlier said it was too early to talk about 2023, the rumour that APC chieftains are plotting to give him the party’s ticket in the much-anticipated election has refused to go away.
But speaking on Monday during a thanksgiving service of Bayelsa State Governor Senator Douye Diri, at the State Ecumenical Centre in Yenagoa, the state capital, Jonathan said he is still a PDP member.
He said ”PDP has been a very friendly party. I am a member of PDP and I know from the beginning till today that PDP is a friendly party; PDP is a party that carries everybody along. And we should extend that.
“At Bayelsa level let us start it so that at the end of the political process and the end contestation, we can work together for the interest of our people,” he stated.
Jonathan however took a swipe at Nigerian politicians over the ethnic feud and killings in the country. He blamed their intense struggle for political power for the tension and division in most parts of the country.
He asked politicians to stop practicing politics as if democracy is a military Coup d’état that usually ends in bloodshed and lifetime enmity between the winners and the losers.
Jonathan said,”Those of us in politics, we should learn to play politics as politics is not a war. And at the end of any political process, let us all come together and support whoever, by divine intervention, God has made victorious.
“If you look at leadership globally, you will notice that there are three ways of taking over leadership. One of them is monarchy where the king is the leader of Government. In such case, the crown Prince is known in advance. At the time of succession, you know the next King and you are usually waiting for the King to die.
“In Nigeria, what we know and have witnessed at the national level is government through military coup. And in military coup, those with weapons or guns stage a coup. The assumption is that they want to kill others to assume power.
“And of course if they fail the incumbent will kill all those who plotted the coup. And at the end of the day, in a military coup, if you succeed or not, both parties (incumbent and coup plotters) become lifetime enemies and stay as enemies till death.
“A military takeover is not known to law. It is not recognised by the constitution. But the democratic process is recognised by law and known to the constitution. And it is the best approach. We, the modern politicians, should not play politics as if we are participating in a coup d’état.
“And at the end of the political process, we expect that both losers and winners come together. We should learn to carry everyone along. And the losers should know that they do not ferment trouble.
“The greatest cause of our present security issues is the contestation for power as if they are participating in a coup d’état. The idea should be that our country must change and politicians must not participate in the political process as if it is a civil war,” he said.