Monday, December 23, 2013

President Jonathan replies OBJ: Your letter is full of lies and a threat to national security (contd 2)

Continues from President Jonathan replies OBJ: Your letter is full of lies and a threat to national security (contd)It is indeed very unfortunate that the seeming crisis in the party was instigated by a few senior members of the party, including you. But, as leader of the party, I will continue to do my best to unite it so that we can move forward with strength and unity of purpose. The PDP has always recovered from previous crises with renewed vigour and vitality. I am very optimistic that that will be the case again this time. The PDP will overcome any temporary setback, remain a strong party and even grow stronger.

Instigating people to cause
problems and disaffection within
the party is something that you
are certainly familiar with. You
will recall that founding fathers
of the Party were frustrated out of the Party at a time. Late
Chief Sunday Awoniyi was pushed
out, Late Chief Solomon Lar left
and later came back, Chief Audu
Ogbeh and Chief Tom Ikimi also
left. Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo left and later came back. In
2005/2006, link-men were sent
to take over party structures
from PDP Governors in an
unveiled attempt to undermine
the state governors. In spite of that, the Governors did not
leave the Party because nobody
instigated and encouraged them
to do so.

The charge that I was involved in
anti-party activities in
governorship elections in Edo,
Ondo, Lagos, and Anambra
States is also very unfortunate. I
relate with all Governors irrespective of political party
affiliation but I have not worked
against the interest of the PDP.
What I have not done is to
influence the electoral process
to favour our Party. You were definitely never so inclined, since
you openly boasted in your
letter of how you supported
Alhaji Shehu Shagari against
Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief
Nnamdi Azikiwe and others in the 1979 presidential elections while
serving as a military Head of
State. You and I clearly differ in
this regard, because as the
President of Nigeria, I believe it is
my duty and responsibility to create a level playing field for all
parties and all candidates.

Recalling how the PDP lost in
states where we were very
strong in 2003 and 2007 such as
Edo, Ondo, Imo, Bauchi, Anambra,
and Borno, longstanding
members of our great party with good memory will also
consider the charge of anti-
party activities you made
against me as misdirected and
hugely hypocritical. It certainly
was not Goodluck Jonathan's "personal ambition or selfish
interest" that caused the PDP
to lose the governorship of Ogun
State and all its senatorial seats
in the last general elections.

You quoted me as saying that I
have not told anybody that I will
seek another term in office in
2015. You and your ambitious
acolytes within the party have
clearly decided to act on your conclusion that "only a fool will
believe that statement" and
embark on a virulent campaign
to harass me out of an
undeclared candidature for the
2015 presidential elections so as to pave the way for a successor
anointed by you.

You will recall that you serially
advised me that we should
refrain from discussing the 2015
general elections for now so as
not to distract elected public
officials from urgent task of governance. While you have
apparently moved away from
that position, I am still of the
considered opinion that it would
have been best for us to do all
that is necessary to refrain from heating up the polity at this
time. Accordingly, I have already
informed Nigerians that I will only
speak on whether or not I will
seek a second term when it is
time for such declarations. Your claims about discussions I had
with you, Governor Gabriel
Suswam and others are wrong,
but in keeping with my declared
stance, I will reserve further
comments until the appropriate time.

Your allegation that I asked half
a dozen African Presidents to
speak to you about my alleged
ambition for 2015, is also
untrue. I have never requested
any African President to discuss with you on my behalf. In our
discussion, I mentioned to you
that four Presidents told me
that they were concerned about
the political situation in Nigeria
and intended to talk to you about it. So far, only three of
them have confirmed to me that
they have had any discussion
with you. If I made such a
request, why would I deny it?

The issue of Buruji Kashamu is
one of those lies that should not
be associated with a former
President. The allegation that I
am imposing Kashamu on the
South-West is most unfortunate and regrettable. I do not even
impose Party officials in my home
state of Bayelsa and there is no
zone in this country where I
have imposed officials. So why
would I do so in the South West? Baba, in the light of
Buruji's detailed public response
to your "open letter", it will be
charitable for you to render an
apology to Nigerians and I.

On the issue of investors being
scared to come to Nigeria,
economic dormancy, and
stagnation, I will just refer you
to FDI statistics from 2000 to
2013. Within the last three years, Nigeria has emerged as
the preferred destination for
investments in Africa, driven by
successful government policies to
attract foreign investors. For
the second year running, the United Nations Conference on
Trade and Investments (UNCTAD)
has ranked Nigeria as the
number one destination for
investments in Africa, and as
having the fourth highest returns in the world.

Today, Nigeria is holding 18
percent of all foreign
investments in Africa and 60
percent of all foreign
investments in the ECOWAS Sub-
Region. Kindly note also that in the seven years between 2000
and 2007 when you were
President, Nigeria attracted a
total of $24.9 Billion in FDI. As a
result of our efforts which you
disparage, the country has seen an FDI inflow of $25.7 Billion in
just three years which is more
than double the FDI that has
gone to the second highest
African destination. We have also
maintained an annual national economic growth rate of close to
seven per cent since the
inception of this administration.
What then, is the justification for
your allegation of scared
investors and economic dormancy?

Although it was not emphasized
in your letter of December 2,
2013, you also conveyed, in
previous correspondence, the
impression that you were
ignorant of the very notable achievements of my
administration in the area of
foreign relations. It is on record
that under my leadership, Nigeria
has played a key role in
resolving the conflicts in Niger, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Guinea Bissau
and others.

The unproductive rivalry that
existed between Nigeria and
some ECOWAS countries has also
been ended under my watch and
Nigeria now has better relations
with all the ECOWAS countries. At the African Union, we now
have a Commissioner at the AU
Commission after being without
one for so long. We were in the
United Nations Security Council
for the 2010/2011 Session and we have been voted in again for
the 2014/2015 Session. From
independence to 2010, we were
in the U.N. Security Council only
three times but from 2010 to
2015, we will be there two times.

This did not happen by chance.
My Administration worked hard
for it and we continue to
maintain the best possible
relations with all centres of
global political and economic power. I find it hard therefore,
to believe your assertions of
untoward concern in the
international community over the
state of governance in Nigeria With respect to the Brass and
Olokola LNG projects, you may
have forgotten that though you
started these projects, Final
Investment Decisions were never
reached. For your information, NNPC has not withdrawn from
either the Olokola or the Brass
LNG projects.

On the Rivers State Water
Project, you were misled by your
informant. The Federal
Government under my watch has
never directed or instructed the
Africa Development Bank to put on hold any project to be
executed in Rivers state or any
other State within the
Federation. The Rivers Water
Project was not originally in the
borrowing plan but it was included in April 2013 and
appraised in May. Negotiations
are ongoing with the AfDB. I
have no doubt that you are
familiar with the entire process
that prefaces the signing of a Subsidiary Loan Agreement as in
this instance.

Let me assure you and all
Nigerians that I do not engage in
negative political actions and will
never, as President, oppress the
people of a State or deprive
them of much needed public services as a result of political
disagreement I have noted your comments on
the proposed National
Conference. Contrary to the
insinuation in your letter, the
proposed conference is aimed at
bringing Nigerians together to resolve contentious national
issues in a formal setting. This is
a sure way of promoting greater
national consensus and unity,
and not a recipe for "disunity,
confusion and chaos" as you alleged in your letter.

Having twice held the high office
of President, Commander-In-Chief
of the Armed Forces of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria, I
trust that you will understand
that I cannot possibly find the time to offer a line-by-line
response to all the accusations
and allegations made in your
letter while dealing with other
pressing demands of office and
more urgent affairs of state. I have tried, however, to
respond to only the most serious
of the charges which question
my sincerity, personal honour,
and commitment to the oath
which I have sworn, to always uphold and protect the interests
of all Nigerians, and promote
their well-being.

In closing, let me state that you
have done me grave injustice
with your public letter in which
you wrongfully accused me of
deceit, deception, dishonesty,
incompetence, clannishness, divisiveness and insincerity,
amongst other ills. I have not, myself, ever claimed
to be all-knowing or infallible, but
I have never taken Nigeria or
Nigerians for granted as you
implied, and I will continue to do
my utmost to steer our ship of state towards the brighter
future to which we all aspire. Please accept the assurances of
my highest consideration and
warm regards.

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