Former Deputy Senate President and a chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, has said ex-President Goodluck Jonathan lost the 2015 elections because he was surrounded by mediocres and amateurs.
Mantu, who disclosed this in an interview with an online publication, said the former President alienated himself from those who were in a position to help him win the elections.
He said: “Jonathan lost because he refused to work with people who know the game. Most of the people Jonathan worked with were mediocres and amateurs. At a point in time, he even left the party machinery and employed some consultants to work for him.”
He said the manner Jonathan was chosen as the party’s presidential candidate did not also help his case, adding that who spoke against the process were sidelined by the party.
He said: “When I sat down as an elder, I sent memos to Jonathan himself. Some of us were seen as prophets of doom. Because we gave good advice, they sidelined me. They didn’t want to see some of us.
“I am not a soothsayer but I know what can happen in a party in which I am a member. I told people we were wasting our time. Many people disagreed. They thought it would be business as usual. I could see clearly that the God of justice would not allow it to happen. When you play God, God will tell you ‘I am power and I give it to anybody I wish’.”
Mantu referred to many groups which deceived the former President that they could mobilise votes for him, noting that many claimed they could mobilise as many as 75 million voters for him in the elections.
He said: “There are many of them; they came to Eagle Square and said they have 75 million signatures. Where were the 75 million people when we were voting? Politics is a grassroots game. When you don’t use your structure at the grassroots, you will lose.
“How many people watch television? Those that have don’t have light. So, when you say you are using television to campaign, you are wasting your time. Campaign is at the grassroots level.”
On what the All Progressives Congress, APC, did well to win the elections, Mantu said: “People were already tired of PDP. PDP was suffering from hangover, fatigue. Sixteen years in power uninterrupted is not easy in a country like Nigeria.
“Then, PDP became over drunk with power. We were staggering. We missed our road. We were no longer respecting the people. Virtually everywhere, APC votes came from PDP members, who were angry with the party.”
He, however, said the PDP was rebuilding itself to cope with its present challenges, noting that the party’s forthcoming convention would help it find its bearing.