Presidential Spokesman, Reuben Abati Declares ‘Goodluck Jonathan Has No Quarrel With Obasanjo’


The Presidency yesterday described the outbursts by the leader of the Niger Delta Volunteer Force, Mujaheed Asari-Dokubo as nothing but a crab, insisting that President goodluck Jonathan has no quarrel with former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

The Presidency described as a ‘crab mentality expression, begotten from a wrong premise which does not reflect the innermost feelings of Nigerians about the present administration and the president’, statements accredited to Dokubo. The presidency maintained that Obasanjo “is a man for whom President Jonathan has the utmost respect and they have an excellent relationship.”

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, in a chat with State House correspondents, described as a ‘surprise the tirade’ from Dokubo, wondering why a ‘member of the house’ would still stand outside and urinate into the same house. Dokubo had said because Jonathan was surrounded by greedy people he might not rule beyond 2015.

Abati advised Asari-Dokubo to remain “consistent, see the big picture and worry less about greedy people who are preventing other Ijaws from reaching the president”, just as he reminded him that, according to the records, Nigerians knew him as a very strong supporter of the Jonathan administration who had said a lot of positive things about the administration.

Abati said: “I read that interview granted by Asari-Dokubo and I was quite surprised that he would talk like that because as he himself admitted in that interview, he is close to the government. And his interview was full of proverbs. So, I don’t know whether it is a wise thing for you to be a member of the house and then for you to stand outside and urinate into that same house. Doing so may serve the purpose of sensationalism and it may please some mischiefmakers, but the truth of the matter is that wise people may think that that is not really the right way to go.

“In spite of the content of his interview, in which he was saying the president has a rift with former president Obasanjo, I keep saying it; there is no rift between President Jonathan and former president Obasanjo. The president has the utmost respect for the former president whom he regards as his father. He even calls him Baba. And I don’t think anybody can say he has any evidence anywhere where the president has been disrespectful to the elderly man.

“So, those things that you see in the newspapers about people saying President Jonathan and Obasanjo are quarreling are exaggerated. They do not reflect the truth. He (Asari-Dokubo) claims that there is a rift between President Jonathan and Obasanjo; so, you can see that the whole of that commentary is based on a wrong premise.” On Asari-Dokubo’s allegation that Jonathan surrounded himself with greedy people who had refused other Nigerians access to the president, Abati said: “There is also a comment from him (Dokubo) about people who surround the president whom he says are greedy and who have cut him off from his roots and all that.

What you just take from all that is this crab mentality theory of human relationship and I think that there is a lot of this crab theory at play in Nigeria both in terms of interpersonal relationship and in terms of how people respond to public issues.” What is that crab theory all about? If you put a number of crabs in a bucket and one of them tries to go to the top, the other crabs will be struggling to pull that one that is trying to go to the top down.

They will keep reminding that top crab that you are one of us; this is where you belong and you cannot leave us; we are together. “At the end of the day, whether the people say they are being blocked from having access to him or even those of us who work for him and even everybody, whoever it may be, it is important to remember that the only person that will be called to come and give account is President Jonathan. That is the man Nigerians voted for and all of us, whether we are his kinsmen or we are his staff or we are his friends, I think we should focus more on the Nigerian project. “And I repeat again for the purpose of emphasis, President Jonathan has no problems at all with former president Obasanjo.”