Monday, December 23, 2013

President Jonathan replies OBJ: Your letter is full of lies and a threat to national security (contd)

Continues from President Jonathan replies OBJ: You letter is full of lies and a threat to national security

When that incident failed, an armed group invaded Yenagoa one evening with the intent to assassinate me. Luckily for me, they could not. They again attacked and bombed my country home on a night when I was expected in the village. Fortunately, as God would have it, I did not make the trip.

I recall that immediately after both incidents, I got calls expressing the concern of Abuja. But Baba, you know that despite the apparent concern of Abuja, no single arrest was ever made. I was then the Governor of Bayelsa State and the PDP Vice-Presidential candidate. The security people ordinarily should
have unraveled the assassination
attempt on me.

You also raised the issues of
kidnapping, piracy and armed
robbery. These are issues all
Nigerians, including me are very
concerned about. While we will
continue to do our utmost best to reduce all forms of criminality
to the barest minimum in our
country, it is just as well to
remind you that the first major
case of kidnapping for ransom
took place around 2006. And the Boko Haram crisis dates back to
2002. Goodluck Jonathan was not
the President of the country
then. Also, armed robbery
started in this country
immediately after the civil war and since then, it has been a
problem to all succeeding
governments. For a former Head
of Government, who should know
better, to present these
problems as if they were creations of the Jonathan
Administration is most

Having said that, let me remind
you of some of the things we
have done to curb violent crime
in the country. We have
reorganized the Nigerian Police
Force and appointed a more dynamic leadership to oversee
its affairs. We have also
improved its manpower levels as
well as funding, training and
logistical support.

We have also increased the
surveillance capabilities of the
Police and provided its air-wing
with thrice the number of
helicopters it had before the
inception of the present administration. The National Civil
Defence and Security Corps has
been armed to make it a much
more effective ally of the police
and other security agencies in
the war against violent crime. At both domestic and international
levels, we are doing everything
possible to curb the proliferation
of the small arms and light
weapons with which armed
robberies, kidnappings and piracy are perpetrated. We have also
enhanced security at our
borders to curb cross-border

We are aggressively addressing
the challenge of crude oil theft
in collaboration with the state
Governors. In addition, the
Federal Government has engaged
the British and US governments for their support in the tracking
of the proceeds from the
purchase of stolen crude.
Similarly, a regional Gulf of Guinea
security strategy has been
initiated to curb crude oil theft and piracy.

Perhaps the most invidious
accusation in your letter is the
allegation that I have placed
over one thousand Nigerians on
a political watch list, and that I
am training snipers and other militia to assassinate people.
Baba, I don't know where you
got that from but you do me
grave injustice in not only
lending credence to such
baseless rumours, but also publicizing it. You mentioned God
seventeen times in your letter.
Can you as a Christian hold the
Bible and say that you truly
believe this allegation?

The allegation of training snipers
to assassinate political
opponents is particularly
incomprehensible to me. Since I
started my political career as a
Deputy Governor, I have never been associated with any form
of political violence. I have been a
President for over three years
now, with a lot of challenges and
opposition mainly from the high
and mighty. There have certainly been cases of political
assassination since the advent of
our Fourth Republic, but as you
well know, none of them
occurred under my leadership.

Regarding the over one
thousand people you say are on
a political watch list, I urge you
to kindly tell Nigerians who they
are and what agencies of
government are "watching" them. Your allegation that I am
using security operatives to
harass people is also baseless.
Nigerians are waiting for your
evidence of proof. That was an
accusation made against previous administrations,
including yours, but it is certainly
not my style and will never be.
Again, if you insist on the
spurious claim that some of your
relatives and friends are being harassed, I urge you to name
them and tell Nigerians what
agencies of my administration
are harassing them.

I also find it difficult to believe
that you will accuse me of
assisting murderers, or assigning
a presidential delegation to
welcome a murderer. This is a
most unconscionable and untrue allegation. It is incumbent on me
to remind you that I am fully
conscious of the dictates of my
responsibilities to God and our
dear nation. It is my hope that
devious elements will not take advantage of your baseless
allegation to engage in brazen
and wanton assassination of high
profile politicians as before,
hiding under the alibi your "open
letter" has provided for them.

Nevertheless, I have directed the
security agencies and requested
the National Human Rights
Commission to carry out a
thorough investigation of these
criminal allegations and make their findings public. That corruption
is an issue in
Nigeria is indisputable. It has
been with us for many years.
You will recall that your kinsman,
the renowned afro-beat
maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti famously sang about it during
your first stint as Head of State.
Sonny Okosun also sang about
corruption. And as you may
recall, a number of Army
Generals were to be retired because of corruption before
the Dimka coup. Also, the late
General Murtala Mohammed
himself wanted to retire some
top people in his cabinet on
corruption-related issues before he was assassinated. Even in
this Fourth Republic, the Siemens
and Halliburton scandals are well

The seed of corruption in this
country was planted a long time
ago, but we are doing all that
we can to drastically reduce its
debilitating effects on national
development and progress. I have been strengthening the
institutions established to fight
corruption. I will not shield any
government official or private
individual involved in corruption,
but I must follow due process in all that I do. And whenever clear
cases of corruption or fraud
have been established, my
administration has always taken
prompt action in keeping with
the dictates of extant laws and procedures. You cannot claim to
be unaware of the fact that
several highly placed persons in
our country, including sons of
some of our party leaders are
currently facing trial for their involvement in the celebrated
subsidy scam affair. I can hardly
be blamed if the wheels of
justice still grind very slowly in
our country, but we are doing
our best to support and encourage the judiciary to
quicken the pace of adjudication
in cases of corruption.

Baba, I am amazed that with all
the knowledge garnered from
your many years at the highest
level of governance in our
country, you could still believe
the spurious allegation contained in a letter written to me by the
Governor of the Central Bank of
Nigeria (CBN), and surreptitiously
obtained by you, alleging that
USD49.8 billion, a sum equal to
our entire national budget for two years, is "unaccounted for"
by the NNPC. Since, as President,
you also served for many years
as Minister of Petroleum
Resources, you very well know
the workings of the corporation. It is therefore intriguing that
you have made such an
assertion. You made a lot of
insinuations about oil theft,
shady dealings at the NNPC and
the NNPC not remitting the full proceeds of oil sales to the of
CBN. Now that the main source
of the allegations which you
rehashed has publicly stated
that he was "misconstrued",
perhaps you will find it in your heart to apologize for misleading
unwary Nigerians and impugning
the integrity of my
administration on that score.

Your claim of "Atlantic Oil loading
about 130, 000 barrels sold by
Shell and managed on behalf of
NPDC with no sale proceeds paid
into the NPDC account" is also
disjointed and baseless because no such arrangement as you
described exists between
Atlantic Oil and the Nigeria
Petroleum Development Company.
NPDC currently produces about
138, 000 barrels of oil per day from over 7 producing assets.
The Crude Oil Marketing Division
(COMD) of the NNPC markets all
of this production on behalf of
NPDC with proceeds paid into
NPDC account. I am really shocked that with all
avenues open to you as a
former Head of State for the
verification of any information
you have received about state
affairs, you chose to go public with allegations of "high
corruption" without offering a
shred of supporting evidence.
One of your political "sons"
similarly alleged recently that he
told me of a minister who received a bribe of $250 Million
from an oil company and I did
nothing about it. He may have
been playing from a shared
script, but we have not heard
from him again since he was challenged to name the minister
involved and provide the
evidence to back his claim. I
urge you, in the same vein, to
furnish me with the names, facts
and figures of a single verifiable case of the "high corruption"
which you say stinks all around
my administration and see
whether the corrective action
you advocate does not follow
promptly. And while you are at it, you may also wish to tell
Nigerians the true story of
questionable waivers of
signature bonuses between 2000
and 2007.

While, by the Grace of God
Almighty, I am the first President
from a minority group, I am
never unmindful of the fact that
I was elected leader of the whole
of Nigeria and I have always acted in the best interest of all
Nigerians. You referred to the
divisive actions and inflammatory
utterances of some individuals
from the South-South and
asserted that I have done nothing to call them to order or
distance myself from their ethnic
chauvinism. Again that is very
untrue. I am as committed to the
unity of this country as any
patriot can be and I have publicly declared on many occasions that
no person who threatens other
Nigerians or parts of the
country is acting on my behalf.

It is very regrettable that in your letter, you seem to place sole responsibility for the ongoing intrigues and tensions in the PDP at my doorstep, and going on from that position, you direct all your appeals for a resolution at me. Baba, let us all be truthful to ourselves, God and posterity. At the heart of all the current troubles in our party and the larger polity is the unbridled jostling and positioning for personal or group advantage ahead of the 2015 general elections. The "bitterness, anger, mistrust, fear and deep suspicion" you wrote about all flow from this singular factor.
Continue Reading President Jonathan replies OBJ: Your letter is full of lies and a threat to national security

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