Kinsmen of former President Goodluck Jonathan have warned politicians to refrain from unhealthy propaganda and distortion of historical facts in their quest for power ahead of the 2023 general elections, especially as it pertains to presidential timelines and the duration of the tenure of the Jonathan presidency.
Paramount Ruler of Otuoke community, King Ariwareni Paul, in a statement issued in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, frowned at what he called obsession with continuous lies and misinformation against their son, former President Jonathan, by politicians and public commentators in their bid to win cheap sympathy ahead of the 2023 elections.
The community leader said they have observed a narrative of misinformation on the five year tenure of President Jonathan which “some political hirelings and propagandist have wrongly and treacherously claimed to have lasted six years, ostensibly to agree with their predetermined selfish narrative”, describing it as a distortion of historical facts ahead of the 2023 election.
He said: “We have read in the news and watched on TV the deliberate misinformation of the public on the political timeline of former Presidents, especially concerning the number of years spent by President Jonathan in office.
“The narrative that Jonathan spent six instead of five years as President is a distortion of historical fact and it is expedient that we correct this misinformation for the sake of posterity.”
King Paul explained that he was reacting to a misleading short documentary on Nigeria’s leadership tenures by Don Pedro Obaseki titled ‘PDP 2023: The Arithmetic of Zoning.’
The traditional ruler wondered why such a man “who is supposed to have a reasonable knowledge of historical events in Nigeria would willingly opt to distort and misrepresent recent significant occurrence in the political evolution of our dear nation.
“We believe this was not an error on the side of Obaseki but a deliberate mangling of Nigeria’s political history in pursuit of the political desires of his paymasters.
“It is on record that Jonathan took his oath of office and was sworn in as President on May 6, 2010, following the death of his boss, President Yar’Adua. He later contested in 2011 polls and was subsequently sworn into office on May 29, 2011, and he handed over to his successor on May 29, 2015. So how does May 2010 to May 2015 amounts to 6 years.
“Assuming but not conceding that one wants to add the three months Jonathan served as acting President, from when the doctrine of necessity was passed by the National Assembly specifically on February 9, 2010, it will amount to five years and four months and definitely not six years.”
He said individuals and groups are free to promote any candidate of their choice but Nigerians should not be misinformed for their personal reasons.
“We have observed that an otherwise credible television station has been promoting this falsehood in the form of advert and documentaries and we are advising them to retract this error. We also admonish sponsors of the advert to get their facts right and stop misinforming Nigerians,” he added.