Don’t Attack Obasanjo, Jonathan cautions aides

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President Goodluck Jonathan has warned that any aide that continues with the media war against former President Olusegun Obasanjo does so at the risk of his or her job.

Our correspondent learnt that this presidential directive came as a result of intervention by some unnamed chieftains of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party. The party lords were said to have asked the President to rein in his aides.

A source in the Presidency, who declined being mentioned, said some members of the party were of the opinion that the exchange of words between the President, his aides and the former President did not augur well for the image of the party.

The source added, “The party informed the President that the members of the opposition could capitalize on the disagreement to cause a major friction between the two leaders of the party.

“The President has ordered his aides not to speak directly or indirectly on anything that is injurious to the former President on any issue. This is because some leaders of the PDP have advised him not to take the former President in a fight.”

“Not only will this heat up the polity and cause tension in both the party and the polity, it also has political implications.”

“Moreover, the party has noticed that the opposition is already trying to make gains from the fight and that will not be a good thing either for the two leaders or our party.

“The President has nothing but respect for Obasanjo and will not do anything to create a rift between them. I am sure the disagreement will be settled.

“Besides, there are no plans by the President to witch-hunt Obasanjo with any probe.”

A member of the party’s National Working Committee, while speaking with selected journalists in Abuja on Sunday, said the party was concerned about the increasing bitterness between the two senior members of the party.

Obasanjo, until April this year, was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the party, when he resigned his appointment.

He recently stirred the hornet’s nest when he declared that Jonathan might be a weak leader because of the way he was handling the security challenges in the country.

The former president gave an example of how he used military agencies to fish out militants who killed security operatives in Odi, Bayelsa State during his tenure.

Jonathan, however, used his media chat to respond to Obasanjo’s statement saying that the invasion of Odi during Obasanjo’s presidency only succeeded in killing innocent lives and did not get the militants suspected of killing the suspected operatives.

The Herald NG is a leading newspaper in Nigeria at the forefront of the digital revolution.

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