A former Deputy President of the Senate, Ibrahim Mantu, has spoken about a wide range of issues in a new interview, including why former President Goodluck Jonathan lost the 2015 presidential election.
In an exclusive interview with Premium Times, former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, has spoken about a wide range of issues, including why former President Goodluck Jonathan lost the 2015 presidential election.
Below are excerpts from the chat;
As a seasoned politician, how come you didn’t see Jonathan was going to lose the election?
I knew now. Did you see me there? If I had not known, you would have seen me neck deep in the campaign. At least, I am not a small player in the PDP.
But you didn’t speak out that the party should choose a different candidate.
I didn’t have to go to the market square. 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.”
If you are to put it in simple terms, why did Jonathan lose?
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.
Are you talking about Transformation Ambassadors Nigeria, TAN?
I don’t know. 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.
What was it that worked for APC during the election that didn’t work for PDP?
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.