by Ranti Joseph
Former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku on Tuesday, February 10 in Abuja, denied reports in the media alleging that he accused President Jonathan of being the sponsor of Boko Haram.
Maku, while addressing newsmen said the reports were false and an attempt to discredit Jonathan by using his ardent supporters to make the falsehood look believable. He said that his campaign organization had long refuted the publication adding that it was needed for him to address the press as the issue was still being mischievously peddled by some media platforms. “As you are all aware, we are in the heat of politicking for the election of the next president and there has been a desperate attempt by the enemies of the president to slander him. Two weeks ago, I saw an image in the media, purportedly quoting me to have accused President Jonathan of being the sponsor of Boko Haram,’’ he said.
Maku expressed regret that in spite the denial by his campaign organization, some media platforms still quoted him as saying that he regretted working with President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. He reiterated that he remained an ardent supporter of Jonathan and his transformation agenda, adding that his believe in Jonathan as the best candidate would not diminish. “As a journalist, I find these reports very reprehensible, slanderous and completely unprofessional. What is going on is beyond mischief, it is absolute desperation by the enemies of the president to pull him down using my name. I therefore want to make it very clear here that at no time in my life have I ever associated the president with the sponsorship of terrorism; it is absolute fiction. This is designed by the opposition to quote one of the most ardent believers in President Jonathan as telling a story against him. I believe in President Jonathan; he is a misunderstood leader who has done so much for this country and is doing so much for the nation,” he said.
He said that although he is under APGA, Jonathan remains his presidential candidate and he is leading his campaign in Nasarawa state. “I remain his loyalist, I remain his supporter, I believe in him, I believe in the great job he has done for Nigeria,” he added.
He urged the opposition to desist from unwarranted attacks on Jonathan, stressing that if they must, they should use their own names not the names of his supporters. He called on owners of social media platforms to desist from publishing falsehood. “I have issued statements through my campaign organisation to no avail, they continue to carry them. If they continue, then I will not hesitate to take further action against those who are spreading this fiction against the President,” he said.
Maku said that Jonathan’s re-election as Nigeria’s president was more important to him than his ambition to be governor of Nasarawa State.