I’ve no hand in Niger Delta renewed militancy – Jonathan - EazyFeeds

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Monday 8 August 2016

I’ve no hand in Niger Delta renewed militancy – Jonathan

Former President Good­luck Jonathan has de­nied joining other Ijaw leaders in sponsoring the resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta region.
Jonathan said that his posi­tion both in and out of office is that violence does not enhance any cause and would therefore not support groups and persons who resort to killings, violence and destruction of public infra­structure for personal reasons.
The former President ac­cused a militant Niger Delta group of instigating the move to make the administration of President Muhammadu Buha­ri go after him.
In a statement issued on Sunday by his media aide, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, the former President, who denied the al­legation, said that the charac­ter behind the claims had in the past served as the spokes­person for a notorious group which had all along shown its hand to be going after his life.”

Eze said: “We are also not bothered by this baseless ac­cusation, contented that we are not the only ones conver­sant with Jonathan’s widely-ac­knowledged sincere disposition to peace, non-violence and bet­ter human community. We are however seized by the feeling of déjà vu occasioned by the res­urrection of one dim character who had in the past served as the spokesperson for a notori­ous group which had all along shown its hand to be going after the life of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.”
Eze said that the false claims were made by a shadowy group which calls itself the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) to the effect that many notable Ijaw and other Niger Delta lead­ers and elders, especially those perceived not to be too close to the powers that be, are the al­leged sponsors of the current crises in the Niger Delta.
He said: “For the avoidance of doubt, we are fully convinced that such an idiotic claim is too cheap a narrative, a facile con­trivance so badly concocted that any discerning mind would easily see through its disingenu­ous and duplicitous nature.
“Since it is not in our place to speak for all those named in the obvious fabrication, we are only intervening to the extent that its hidden intent poses a vi­olent threat to the life of former President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, a committed patriot who the Almighty God has giv­en the grace and good health to rededicate his life to the service of humanity, after serving his dear nation as President to the best of his abilities,” Eze said.
The former President said that he was not bothered by the baseless accusation because of his sincere “disposition to peace, non-violence and better human community”.
Jonathan recalled that in 2007 when he emerged as the running mate to the late Pres­ident Umar’ Yar’Adua on the platform of the People’s Dem­ocratic Party during that year’s presidential election, the same group invaded Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, with hun­dreds of militants in an effort to assassinate him. Jonathan was only saved then by the spirited efforts of the combined forces of determined security men, who gallantly repelled the at­tack.
“Let us also not forget that members of this same group later invaded and bombed Jon­athan’s compound in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, on a night he was scheduled to attend to an important matter in his coun­try home. He was only saved by the grace of God, who in His infinite mercy created inter­vening factors that prevented Jonathan from sleeping in his country home that night.
The statement said: “Do we need to remind anybody that the so called Cynthia White is the self-declared spokesper­son of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), a violent and mur­derous underground group led by one Henry Okah, which has not hidden its intention to de­stroy the former President?”
The former president’s aide also recalled the unfortunate event of October 1, 2010 in Abuja at the Eagle Square dur­ing the Independence Day cel­ebrations, being presided over by Jonathan when the group struck.
He said that after an at­tempt to bomb the venue, with the mind of assassinating Jon­athan and possibly other high profile local and international dignitaries in attendance, was thwarted by tight security de­ployment, the terrorists explod­ed their bombs in other parts of Abuja, resulting in the death of many innocent Nigerians.
“It is no secret that follow­ing that incident, Okah, the leader of MEND was arrest­ed, tried, convicted and jailed in South Africa over terror­ism charges by the security au­thorities of that country. He re­mains in a South African prison till date while his associates in Nigeria are still being held in Kuje Prison, Abuja.
“We, therefore, have no doubt in our mind that MEND, as a group contracted to go af­ter Jonathan with the mind of assassinating him, is yet to abandon this criminal and ig­nominious craving. It is in this light that we view the purport­ed statement issued by ‘Cyn­thia White’ as not only a sa­distic continuation of this sick desire, but also a futile attempt to instigate the Federal Govern­ment to needlessly go after the former President.
“Those who have been fol­lowing the unsavoury devel­opments in some parts of the country since the last general elections, especially the ones that held in the South-South states, would have noticed that the nefarious MEND, their pay masters and other unscru­pulous elements in the region, have been striving fruitlessly to exploit the ensuing confusion, by surreptitiously working for the fulfilment of its yet-to-be declared political agenda. It is our considered view that the statement in question is an off-shoot of that ignoble plan; this time plotting to rubbish and torpedo the ongoing peace ef­forts in the region,” he said.

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