MEND debunks President Jonathan’s campaign speech against it

By Sylve Ngwu

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) today refuted President Goodluck Jonathan's campaign speech on Thursday in Lagos that it was hired to kill him, describing the allegation as the most outrageous and ridiculous by any president.

MEND also insisted that its endorsement of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari, for the February 14 election absolutely had nothing to do with its leader, Henry Okah, who is serving out time in a South African prison.

Disclosing this in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, MEND said it was unfortunate for President Jonathan to have openly accused Okah, who hails from Amassoma in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, the hometown of a former Bayelsa Governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, of being paid to assassinate him.

The statement reads, “Mr. President (Dr. Goodluck Jonathan), the MEND says thank you for vindicating every words in our recent statement, endorsing Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and for also solidifying your status as a clueless, inept and bare-faced lair.

“MEND will like to state it clearly that our endorsement of the APC's presidential candidate has absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Henry Okah. We challenge Mr. President to come out and reveal to the nation, the names of the 'persons' he claims paid Mr. Henry Okah to 'assassinate' him.

“Goodluck Jonathan should also explain why these 'persons,' as he obviously knows who they are, were not arrested, tried and convicted. Nigerians may recall that prior to the bomb blasts of October 1, 2010, MEND issued a warning of an impending attack on Eagle Square, Abuja, where we also advised the public to steer clear of any parked vehicles, to avert any casualties. These warnings were ignored by the Nigerian security agencies. Hence the unfortunate and regrettable casualties.

“If as Goodluck Jonathan claimed, that he was a target of an 'assassination' attempt, why did we issue a prior warning? Where in this world would an assassin warn their target in advance of an attempt on their life?

“This false allegation by Goodluck Jonathan further confirms our earlier assertion of how he takes Nigerians for stupid, as he seems to have forgotten how he openly came out to absolve MEND of any involvement in the attack.

“Rather than address his administration's failures, he (President Jonathan) chose to descend so low, by using a very cheap bare-faced lie to get sympathy. Is this the kind of President the country wants to be stuck with for another four years of misery?” it asked.