President Goodluck Jonathan has advised the APC presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, not to “place any stock on MEND’s alleged endorsement” of his presidential ambition as the people of Niger-Delta remain behind him.
This is contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, on Thursday.
The statement read; “We have noted with amusement, the vituperations against President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan by the renegade faction of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) headed by the convicted terrorist, Henry Okah, in a statement issued to endorse the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.
“While we thank all people of the Niger Delta, including the former militants whom MEND claims to represent who have already disassociated themselves from the statement issued by the faceless Jomo Gbomo and reaffirmed their unflinching support for President Jonathan’s re-election, we will like to state that the latest assault on the President by Henry Okah and his stooges did not come as a surprise to us at all.
“It was very much to be expected, coming as it did from an individual and group who have never hidden their vengeful personal animosity against the President and who have even gone to the extent of launching murderous assaults on venues at which the President was present on two occasions.
“It is most regrettable indeed that rather than show remorse for the terrorist acts against his fatherland for which he is now rightly serving a term of imprisonment in South Africa, Henry Okah continues to pursue a pointless personal vendetta against President Jonathan who continues to advance and protect the interests of the people of the Niger Delta which Okah and his group threatened with their misguided actions.
“The vituperations against President Jonathan in the MEND statement endorsing General Buhari are mischievous, baseless and deliberately styled to denigrate the good works of the President.
“It is well known that President Jonathan played a significant role in ending the militancy and insurgency in the Niger Delta.
“Under his watch, the destruction of oil facilities and the incessant kidnapping and killing of expatriates in the Niger Delta waterways have become a thing of the past.
“The attempt by Jomo Gbomo’s MEND to rewrite history by tarnishing the person of President Jonathan for selfish, pecuniary and political gains will amount to an exercise in futility.
“All patriotic and right-thinking Nigerians must consider an endorsement from a convicted criminal and his group who harbor evil intentions against the unity and progress of their country as a poisoned chalice.
“President Jonathan would never have accepted such an endorsement from terrorists and renegades.”
He concluded, “The President therefore advises General Buhari not to place any stock on his purported endorsement by the renegade faction of MEND which is led by a convicted and unrepentant terrorist with whom no leader who truly means well for Nigeria should be associated.”