President Goodluck Jonathan
• Warn break away PDP members
Former militants in the Niger Delta have said the action of the breakaway members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was targeted at stopping President Goodluck Jonathan from running for a second tenure in the 2015 elections.
The militants vowed to resist any attempt at stopping Jonathan from running for a second tenure if he desired to run.
The former militants, under the aegis of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative (LPCDI), said in a statement in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, yesterday that they would adopt every available lawful means to stop those who were fighting against the second term agenda of the president.
The statement signed by the National President of the group, Reuben Wilson; Henry Binidodogha (Edo State); Granville Ideye (Rivers State); and Ezekiel Akpasibewei (Delta State), said: “As former freedom fighters in the Niger Delta, we are aware that oil production figures have risen appreciably because we accepted the amnesty agenda of the administration in which Mr. President was a key player in his capacity as vice-president at that time, and now as president.
“Because oil revenues have appreciated, all sections of the country have got some good revenue for their states. Unfortunately, these funds are being used for deadly and selfish political fights that are not in the best interest of the country.”
They accused members of the ‘New PDP’ of working against the interest of the Nigerian masses and plotting to stop Jonathan’s second term bid.
They said: “The gladiators are all out to smear the character and person of Mr. President and ensure that he does not enjoy a re-election in 2015 so that they can take charge and continue to enslave us as was the case for decades.
“We will not fold our arms and watch a section of the country which believes that it is their birthright to rule Nigeria to chase Mr. President out of office. If their argument is that he is not performing, it would have been understood.
“The fight, as it is now, is more about political and selfish interests, rather than that of public good. Otherwise, how do we explain the decision of the Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, to be more involved in the politics of nurturing a break-away faction of the PDP, just to spite Mr. President and realise his political ambition of becoming a vice-president, instead of concentrating on development projects in his state where there are no roads, where he has not been able to fulfil his promises to deliver on a near power supply to the state, where the mono rail project has been used as a conduit pipe, where the Greater Port Harcourt project has suffered a still birth, where projects started years back have since been abandoned.
“We will do everything legally possible to ensure that Mr. President wins a re-election in 2015, except he refuses to contest. The north has held on to power for most of Nigeria’s existence as an independent nation. It amounts to greed show of bravado to think of taking over power again. If that is what Amaechi is fighting for, then he is an enemy of the south and we shall see him as such.”
The repentant militants, however, said they would continue to fight for the unity of Nigeria, the protection and proper use of oil money derived from the Niger Delta.
“We are the major victims of the negative effects of oil production in Nigeria and we cannot be robbed by anybody of the right to control the resources from our soil. Mr. President has, in just two years, proven that he can be trusted with power and that he can deliver on the dividends of democracy to Nigerians, who voted him into power.
“If only these power mongers can allow him to concentrate, Nigerians can be sure that a good man is in office and will give them the good things of life that has eluded them over the years,” they said.