President Jonathan had said at a PDP rally in Lagos Thursday that MEND tried to assassinate him on two separate occasions, pointing out that the leader of the organisation, Henry Okah, now serving a jail term in South Africa, was paid to assassinate him in 2010.
This was even as an ex-militant general, Godsday Smith, alias Bouninawei (the god of the forest), yesterday, in Warri, Delta State, said there was no way ex-agitators in the Niger- Delta region would abandon President Goodluck Jonathan for General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), just as he maintained that Jonathan’s indictment of ex-militants on plot to kill him was hasty and uncalled for, adding that there was no time ex-militants conspired against his government.
Smith asked Jonathan to be bold enough to confront the North which was planning his downfall using the Boko Haram insurgents.
However, MEND’s Spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, said, “We challenge President Jonathan to come out and reveal to the nation the names of the persons he claimed paid Mr Henry Okah to assassinate him.
Goodluck Jonathan should also explain why these persons, as he obviously knows who they are, were not arrested, tried and convicted.”
In an electronic mail by Gbomo, MEND said it was untrue that it planned to kill Mr President.
“MEND views the President, Goodluck Jonathan’s recent campaign rally speech as the most outrageous and ridiculous speech by any President, where he openly accused Mr Henry Okah of being paid to assassinate him.”
“Mr President, the MEND says thank you for vindicating every word in our recent statement of endorsement of General Muhammadu Buhari and for also solidifying your status.”
“The MEND would like to state clearly that our endorsement of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential candidate, has absolutely nothing to do with Mr Henry Okah.
“Nigerians may recall that prior to the bomb blast of October 1, 2010; the MEND issued a warning of an impending attack on Eagle Square, Abuja , where we also advised the public to stay clear of any parked vehicles to avert any casualties.
These warnings were ignored by the Nigerian security agencies, hence the unfortunate and regrettable casualties
“If as Goodluck Jonathan claimed, that he was a target of an assassination attempt, why did we issue a prior warning?
Where in this world would an assassin warn their targets in advance of an attempt on their lives?
This allegation by Goodluck Jonathan, further confirms our earlier assertion of how he takes Nigerians as stupid as he seems to have forgotten how he openly came out to absolve MEND of any involvement in the attack.
“Rather than address his administration’s failures, he chose to descend so low by using a very cheap bare faced (method) to get sympathy. Is this the kind of President the country wants to be stuck with for another four years of misery?
“On the National Dialogue report, Goodluck Jonathan has finally resorted to cheap blackmail by urging the nation to vote for him as a condition to implementing the report. What a blatant insult!
Despite all the billions of Naira spent on that jamboree?
“At this point, the MEND urges the nation to use the power of their votes in securing this great country from the claws of Jonathan’s corrupt and inept government and the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.”
Also in his reaction to Jonathan’s allegation, an ex-militant general, Godsday Smith, said there was no way ex-agitators in the Niger-Delta region would abandon President Goodluck Jonathan for General Buhari, just as he stressed that there was no time ex-militants conspired against his government.
He told Saturday Vanguard on phone in Warri that the controversial endor-sement of All Progre-ssives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, by the non-operational Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, was a manipulation by the party.
Though, he rebutted the claim by President Goodluck Jonathan that MEND plotted to kill him he stated, “Jonathan is our son, there is no way ex-agitators of Niger Delta will support Buhari against their son, President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 general elections.”
His words: “The APC manipulated the purported online statement with the name of MEND to boost their dying camp and I want to say that such treachery should stop forthwith.
“There was no time MEND issued any press statement against President Ebele Jonathan, the purported online statement was manipulated by APC and I use this medium to urge the general public and their numerous supporters to disregard such as unfounded.”
He stressed that ex-militants and the entire Niger Delta region had confidence in Jonathan and had passed a vote of confidence on him.