Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Kingsley Kuku, has made it clear that the meeting, which held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State with Governor Seriake Dickson, and him in attendance did not discuss about going to war if President Goodluck Jonathan loses February election, but that it was called to ensure the prevalence of peace in the society rather than a forum to threaten violence.
Reacting to the call by a former Minister of Defence, Lt. General Theophilus Danjuma, for the arrest of ex-militant leaders of the Niger Delta over their alleged threat to go to war if President Goodluck Jonathan loses the next election, Kuku said the leader of the defunct Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Mujahadeen Dokubo-Asari, who issued the threat after a meeting, spoke his “personal opinion.”
The President special adviser, who is also the Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, explained that the former militant leaders were invited to Yenagoa to hold talks on how to handle the tension caused by the recent attacks on the President in Katsina and Bauchi states during the ongoing presidential campaigns in those states.
He was not happy with the way General Danjuma rushed to the media to call for the arrest of Dokubo, Tompolo, saying that he should have sought for clarification on what transpired at the meeting.
The meeting, he emphasized, was held to douse the threat by some Niger Delta youths to retaliate the attack on the President in the two northern states, adding: “the meeting, which was called by a governor, could not have called for war. Only a section of the media heard Asari calling for war. We called the meeting of all ex-militants who were preparing to respond to the alleged attack of Jonathan in Katsina and Bauchi.
“They were about to react but we held the meeting to douse the tension. We tried to explain to them that what they heard happened in Katsina and Bauchi was untrue. It is true that Asari was angry and had threatened to fight back.
“I advised the other agitators not to react. What Asari said was his personal opinion. I read the resolution and there was no call for war in the communique read.
“There was nothing like calling for war during the meeting; I’m sure Danjuma did not get his facts right. I will call him and explain the situation of things to him.”
Kuku challenged leaders in the North to take the bold decision to come out against the members of the Boko Haram sect, stressing that the fear of the military uniform would not stop terrorists attacks in the area.
“The North Eastern leaders, former heads of state, governors, senators, political leaders must come out against Boko Haram. They are the only people that can come out to say enough is enough.
“People fear the military uniform but it does not stop terrorists attack. When leaders play politics with insurgency, they will not see the end of it.”
Meanwhile, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, a.k.a. Tompolo, has reiterated his recent declaration that President Goodluck Jonathan must win next month’s election for Nigeria to continue to stay together.
Tompolo, who was also reacting to General Danjuma’s call for his arrest, asked: “where was Danjuma when Mallam Ciroma Adamu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, and the Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, made inciting statements about making Nigeria ungovernable.
The ex-Niger Delta militant queried why President Jonathan’s convoy was stoned in Katsina and Bauchi States while General Buhari had a peaceful outing when he campaigned in the Niger-Delta states. [myad]