By Willy Eya
Former President, Goodluck Jonathan has raised the alarm, alleging that the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) wants to assassinate him.
But President Jonathan said he was prepared to do anything within the ambit of the law, to ensure that he enjoys a well-deserved peaceful post-presidential life without any hindrance.
He raised the alarm in a statement signed by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, in response to a story linking him to the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta region.
A group, the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) recently alleged that many notable Ijaw and other Niger Delta leaders and elders, especially those perceived not to be too close to the Presidency were sponsors of the current crisis in the oil-rich region.
But Jonathan dismissed the allegation, saying his intervention is to the extent that the hidden intent poses a violent threat to his life.
Part of the statement reads: “We, have no doubt in our mind that MEND, as a group contracted to go after Jonathan with the mind of assassinating him, is yet to abandon this criminal and ignominious craving. It is in this light that we view the purported statement issued by ‘Cynthia White’ as not only a sadistic continuation of this sick desire, but also a futile attempt to instigate the Federal Government to needlessly go after the former President.
“Those who have been following the unsavoury developments in some parts of the country since the last general elections, especially the ones that held in the South South states, would have noticed that the nefarious MEND, their pay masters and other unscrupulous elements in the region, have been striving fruitlessly to exploit the ensuing confusion, by surreptitiously working for the fulfilment of its yet-to-be declared political agenda.
“It is our considered view that the statement in question is an off-shoot of that ignoble plan; this time plotting to rubbish and torpedo the ongoing peace efforts in the region.
“While we believe that God Almighty would continue to protect the former president against the evil machinations of these undesirable elements, we wish to also point out that Jonathan is prepared to do anything within the limit of our laws to ensure that he enjoys a well-deserved peaceful post-presidential life without any hindrance.
“We are not under any illusion that more accusations and allegations of this nature would not be hurled Jonathan’s way in the future, especially as his enemies appear to have perfected the act of throwing mud each time his profile gains added impetus and acclaim. But we are very positive that he can never be fazed by such negative energy. Like the eagle, Dr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan will continue to soar over his traducers.
“We are however seized by the feeling of déjà vu occasioned by the resurrection of one dim character masquerading as ‘Cynthia White’, who had in the past served as the spokesperson for a notorious group that had all along shown its hand to be going after the life of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.”
The former president recalled that in 2007, when he emerged as the running mate to late President Umaru’ Yar’Adua in the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) during that year’s presidential election, the group invaded Yenogoa with hundreds of militants in an effort to assassinate him. Jonathan said he was only saved then by the spirited efforts of the combined forces of determined security men, who gallantly repelled the attack.
“Let us also not forget that members of this same group later invaded and bombed Jonathan’s compound in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, on a night he was scheduled to attend to an important matter in his country home. He was only saved by the grace of God, who in His infinite mercy created intervening factors that prevented Jonathan from sleeping in his country home that night, ” the statement further added.