Suspicion and rage simmered in the Niger Delta region on Friday, following statements credited to the Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Sam Jaja, that President Goodluck Jonathan had committed blunders that required his impeachment.
Elders and activists from the region were furious that the PDP had tactically given the House of Representatives a backing to actualise its threat to impeach the president.
They were also suspicious that the national leaders of the party from the region might have been convinced to join the impeachment train.
Jaja had, while briefing journalists on behalf of the party’s National Working Committee last Thursday, said the PDP was aware that Jonathan had made some errors deserving of impeachment.
He, however, said the party would try to resolve the present face-off between the lawmakers and Jonathan
Jaja, who is from the same geopolitical zone with Jonathan, said, “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.”
But Ijaw elders and activists were of the opinion that the national leadership of the PDP wanted the president removed from office.
The President of the Conference of Ethnic Nationalities of Niger Delta, Prof. Kimse Okoko, described Jaja’s comments as “a conspiracy theory” and asked him to name the impeachable offences that Jonathan had committed.
He said, “Coming from someone from the Niger Delta, it is a conspiracy theory. 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 who was the former President of the Ijaw National Congress said he was only aware that the lawmakers threatened to impeach the president if he failed to ensure 100 per cent implementation of the budget.
“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. To expect 100 per cent performance from Jonathan is mischievous”, he said.
Also a Niger Delta activist and Spokesperson, Ijaw Republican Assembly, Ankio Briggs, described the position of the party as shocking and horrifying, adding that it was more frightening coming from Jaja, who is from the Niger Delta region.
“It can now be categorically said that not only are there agitators within the nation from a particular zone to destabilise Jonathan’s government, there are people even from the Niger Delta zone and this is very frightening,” she said.
Also, the former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Bayelsa State chapter, Mr. Stanley Damabide, said the comments coming from “a house that should be protective of the presidency was suspicious.”
He said, “Our greatest fear is conspiracy. 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.”
Similarly, the spokesman of the Ijaw National Congress, Mr. Victor Burubo, described the statement credited to Jaja as his personal opinion, adding that the INC does not share such opinion with him.
Burubo said, “If he (Jaja) actually said so, then it is his own opinion. The INC does not agree with him. If there is any president in this country that has demonstrated commitment to the rule of law, it is President Jonathan.”