by Lekan Olanrewaju
Earlier yesterday, details from an affidavit to be delivered to a South African High Court by Henry Okah, the detained leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), surfaced.
According to Okah, President Goodluck Jonathan masterminded two bombings carried out by MEND, in order to implicate leaders in the Northern part of the country. An excerpt from the affidavit reads:
“It is my belief that President Goodluck Jonathan’s government, working with a faction of MEND, planned and executed the bombings of 14 March, 2010 and 1 October, 2010.
The purpose of the 14 March, 2010 bombing in my opinion was to create an atmosphere of insecurity in Niger Delta where President Goodluck Jonathanwas fighting to oust the governor Mr Emmanuel Uduaghan whom he intended to replace with his Minister for Niger Delta, Mr Godsday Orubebe.
The bombing on 1 October 2010 was a platform for the elimination of political opposition from the North in the form of General Ibrahim Babangida.
The bombings of 1 October 2010 was also intended by the Jonathan administration to create anti North sentiments nationwide in order to galvanize support from other sections of Nigeria against other Northern candidates in the Presidential elections.”
President Jonathan has now responded to the allegations, describing them as “false in their entirety” and “without any factual foundation.” In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, the President stated that the government was not going to get into a war of words with Henry Okah, and would make a presentation on the issue in court.
“As the case of Mr Okah’s involvement in the plotting and execution of terrorist attacks in Nigeria is already before a court of competent jurisdiction in South Africa, the Presidency does not intend to say anymore on the matter for now and will, in accordance with due process and international law, make a full representation on the matter to the court when the trial opens,” the statement read.
The President also called on the media not to be manipulated by Okah, as his statements are “an entirely diversionary ‘trial by the media’ aimed only at falsely impugning the character and integrity of the President and officials of his administration.”