2015: MEND planned to kill me – Jonathan declares at campaign flag-off

By The Citizen

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday stunned his audience when he declared that members of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) planned to kill him.

Speaking at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos, during the flag-off of his presidential re-election campaign, organised by the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Jonathan, apparently referring to the MEND's endorsement of the presidential bid of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, said he already has support of Niger Delta people.

He reminded the party chieftains and supporters who thronged the venue in their thousands that the leader of MEND, Henry Okah, who is currently serving a jail term in South Africa for the plot to assassinate him on October 1, 2010.

Jonathan said that he never expected MEND's support, since the group feels that he's an enemy for never mobilizing security agency against it over Independence bombing in 2010.

On the claim by Buhari to mobilize the military to fight insurgency, President Jonathan said the APC candidate never bought a single rifle for any soldier, when he was Head of State.

His words: 'They say they will fight insecurity. Then ask him, when he was the head of Nigerian government, did he buy a single riffle for the Nigerian government? He did not buy anything. They refused to equip the armed forces. Ask them what they did with their defence budget. No government throughout the world equips the military overnight because their equipment are too expensive. Armed forces are equipped over years. Even if you send $10 billion today, you cannot equip the Air Force, equip the Navy and equip the Army. They refused to build the armed forces capacity. And now they are telling us they will fight insecurity.'

The President said if Buhari and all those who had ruled the country before had equipped the military properly, things would have been different today.

He noted that the 2015 general elections are about young people, stating that his message was targeted at young Nigerians, especially those who will be voting for the first time in the February polls.

Said he: 'I will address only a segment of Nigerian populace. I want to address those people who are voting for the first time, those of you who have attained 18 years. That means I am addressing those of you who are 20 years down. I don't want to address old people, like me because we are stained already. Those of you abroad and those at home, listen to what I will say. When you get home, tell your brother, your uncle and fathers who are about 60 years old to confirm what the presidential candidate and vice presidential candidate of the PDP mentioned. The coming election is about the young people. Do you vote for the youth to be relevant in the history of Nigeria of to remain irrelevant?