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Fresh plot to kill Nigeria acting president Jonathan uncovered by 2 ministers, 2 ex-govs implicated

THE Federal Government, on Wednesday, uncovered a plot against Acting President Goodluck Jonathan by some elements said to be aggrieved about his emergence.

The office of the Acting President has confirmed that there is, indeed, a plot to discredit the acting president and pull down his administration. Besides the anger in some quarters over his emergence, some forces were also said to be aggrieved about the decision of the acting president to cancel the proposed sale of oil wells, in another oil bid round that would have empowered some key figures in the polity.

Sources in Abuja told the Nigerian Tribune that some top security operatives had uncovered a plot by a group said to be “utterly disturbed and bitter” by the acting president’s resolve to cancel the oil bid round.

The bidding was to take place last week, but the acting president stopped it.

Sources said that some of those who lost out in the bidding round were already being investigated to know their involvement in the alleged plot.

A source said that some of those who lost out in the planned oil well deal included two former governors, who had planned to take one oil well each, two ministers and a presidential aide, who is said to be interested in three oil wells and fronting for three foreign interests: a Taiwanese, a Chinese and a Middle East company.

It was gathered that some highly connected persons had concluded arrangements to ensure that certain persons grab some lucrative oil wells through the bid round and that those who had already targeted some wells were bitter that Dr.  Jonathan cancelled the bid

Sources said that a group working in and outside the government met on Monday night at a location in Abuja and resolved to deal with the acting president  for “daring to cancel the oil bid round.”

It was gathered that a tape recording of the discussions at the said meeting was already in possession of the government, which is already investigating those linked to the plot.

Sources said that the discussion at the said meeting dwelt on the anger of the group and the ways by which it planned to deal with the acting president.

One of those involved in the meeting was said to have said in exasperation: “We have to deal with him; we have to kill him.”

It was gathered that one of the decisions was to deliberately distort information about the emerging administration of the acting president in a way that would portray him as a spendthrift and an administrator who was eager to loot the treasury.

A source said that the group plotting against the  acting president had been linked with unfounded allegations that the acting president had spent N300 billion since November 23, 2009, when President Yar’Adua travelled  out of Nigeria for medical treatment.

A source said that the group had also been spreading rumours that the lawmakers, who facilitated the passage of the motion that empowered the vice-president as acting president, were financially mobilised.

“We have watched these people and we have to allow the operatives to do their work. They are responsible for the lot of distortions in the land. Whereas the information we have is that those opposed to the emergence of the acting president were mounting pressures on senators not to budge and were making promises of huge financial rewards, they want to turn the information around and turn things on their heads.

“The government cannot go to sleep over this,” a source said on Wednesday.

‘Misguided elements want to pull me down’

The office of the acting president, Dr. Jonathan, has alerted the nation to a grand plan by some people to pull his government down.

In a statement, on Wednesday, the spokesman of the acting president, Mr. Ima Niboro, said the enemies of Jonathan had voted billions of naira to fight the acting president.

The statement entitled “of N300 Billion and other absurd tales!”, read: “Today, the first instalment of the planned and well coordinated media onslaught against the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, was published in a national newspaper” [not the Nigerian Tribune], “alleging that he (the Acting President) approved the expenditure of a whopping N300 billion, for both pro-Yar’Adua rallies and those that were in his interest.” The report also claimed that members of the National Assembly were bribed to do their patriotic duty to save the nation from drift.

“It can be recalled that a few days ago, there was an allegation of a purported release of two billion US dollars from the Excess Crude Account to governors to facilitate their endorsement of Jonathan as Acting President.

“While we commend the Chairman of the Governor’s Forum, Dr. Bukola Saraki, for dealing satisfactorily with that allegation in a rejoinder, it is interesting to note that two billion dollars translate to roughly N300 billion. There is, therefore, no question that both allegations emanate from the same source.

“We know those behind these publications. Nigerians have come to know them as careerists in power. But we see them as misguided elements determined to exceed their call of duty and play God over the affairs of the Nation.

“They are wicked and ungodly and their time is up! Never, again, must we allow our nation to be strangulated by a privileged few who will rather fiddle with our common wealth while the nation burns

“We are aware that they have set aside a huge war chest in billions of naira to bring the Jonathan Acting Presidency to disrepute by any means possible. It is, therefore, hardly surprising that as cunny as these allegations obviously sound, they still get mention in our media space. We are fully on the tracks of this so-called group; this unfortunate band of liars. In the fullness of time, they shall be brought to book.

“We find no need to dignify the N300 billion allegation with a response. What is more, those selling this lie are careful to state that the money was procured from a certain businessman, who is to be settled in a matter of weeks by “a huge oil contract.”

“Three hundred billion naira sourced from one man at a go? We demand to know who this businessman is. Anyone that keeps liquid cash of N2 billion dollars to bribe people belongs only in jail! Huge oil contract? Maybe Nigerians need to ask those who have been involved in handing out such contracts how such quid pro quo deals are done.

“Let me use this medium to reiterate that we shall not be deterred by campaigns of calumny or any other method whatsoever in our collective efforts to reform this nation, and change our ways of doing things once and for all. The acting president is determined, and he is counting on the total support of all Nigerians”, the statement concluded.

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