Former President Goodluck Jonathan is facing severe criticism in Bayelsa, his home state, following his statement that he would have relocated his mother to Abuja if the All Progressives Congress (APC) had won the recently concluded gubernatorial election.
Expressing concerns about potential security issues had Governor Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) failed to secure victory, Jonathan reportedly remarked during a congratulatory visit to the governor.
In response, Timipre Sylva, the APC candidate in the election, labelled the former president’s statement as “unfortunate” and expressed hope that Jonathan was misquoted. Sylva quoted Wole Soyinka, saying, “You can take the hippopotamus out of the swamp, but you cannot take the swamp out of the hippopotamus,” in a post on Instagram and X.
The elders’ council of the APC echoed these sentiments, strongly condemning Jonathan’s statement in a Sunday statement by its secretary, Clarkson Ayebaepreye. The council questioned the extent to which Jonathan would go “in satisfying his paymaster, who ordinarily should be his subordinate.”
While Jonathan carries the tag of an elder statesman, the council accused him of remaining deeply involved in partisan politics despite his supposed statesman status. The criticism suggests a growing dissatisfaction with Jonathan’s perceived alignment with partisan interests.