- Category: Politics
- Published on Sunday, 12 September 2010 21:50
- Written by Sunday Tribune
- Hits: 1069
The Babangida Campaign Organisation on Saturday threw tantrums at the camp of President Goodluck Jonathan, alleging it of masterminding the threat against its Campaign Co-ordinator, Chief Raymond Dokpesi for political reasons.
Picture: Raymond Dokpesi
The campaign organisation while stating this on Saturday, said that the threat against Dokpesi was hatched right inside the Presidential villa with inputs from three serving ministers and prominent supporters of the President including Chief Don Etiebet, Chief Graham Douglas, Cairo Ojuigboh and others.
This is coming as Dokpesi himself relayed threats to his life and his children, disclosing that his relations and children had reported telephone threats about plan to kidnap his first son, Raymond Dokpesi Jnr. by an unnamed militant group, by next Monday.
Dokpesi is a liar -Presidency
In a swift reaction, the presidency described the allegation as a tissue of lies.
The reaction of the presidency was contained in a release signed by Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the President, Mr. Ima Niboro.
According to the release, “our attention has been drawn to statements by the Director General of the General Ibrahim Babangida campaign organisation, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, to the effect that the Presidency is after his life.
He is also alleged to have said that there is a plot to kidnap his son, as a means of forcing him to abandon the Babangida campaign. Obviously, these are lies, and it beats us hollow what Dokpesi stands to gain by them beyond introducing chilling and quite sinister dimensions to the contest for the presidency in 2011.
Nigerians know those who are the “Masters” in the art of political violence and it is not President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Nigeria had enough of such deadly power games under the jack boots of dictators past, and in embracing democracy and freedom, we have said a resounding NO them once and for all.
Nigerians are also aware of the inclinations of the political family Dokpesi belongs to in the South South, and their past roles as purveyors of violence and political “militancy”. Everyone knows that Jonathan has never been associated with such distasteful things.
We also note Dokpesi’s claim that the tax authorities are after him, and ask that he nurses no fears since we assume he has been paying his taxes as at when due. We are after all, a law abiding society, and no one should fear the taxman if their taxes are up to date. Making unsubstantiated claims would not stop the tax authorities from doing their jobs.
“This is our position. And we stand resolutely by it.”
A visibly enraged Dokpesi had said President Jonathan was not unaware of the threat to his life, averring rather that Nigerians should be wary of his aspiration to be president.
Said he, “A vote for Jonathan is a vote for anarchy. It is a call for disintegration of Nigeria. The people that are promoting that campaign do not have the love of Nigeria. And it is time for all right thinking Nigerians to come out to defend the integrity and the unity of this country, no matter what the cost might be. This country needs to be united for business to thrive, for people to live in peace and for all to lay claims to success. You cannot achieve this by intimidation”
Dokpesi again said Nigerians should by now be aware that the leader of the South-South Elders Forum, Pa Edwin Clark never had any good intention for Nigeria with the support he has been casting for Jonathan.
He said he was never moved by the threat to his life as, according to him, such threats would only energise him the more to devote attention to the task of seeking the progress and unity of Nigeria and the aspiration of the south-south zone to fare better in the political arrangement of Nigeria.
He said he had already petitioned the Inspector General of Police on the threats to his life as recently issued by Cynthia Whyte on behalf of a group known as Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC), and hence trusted in the ability of the Nigerian Police to do justice to his petition by bringing his accusers to book.
Cynthia had declared Dokpesi persona non grata in the Niger Delta Region for accepting to lead the campaign organisation of General Babangida, as she was reported to have described the Chairman of DAAR Communications as a black leg in the struggle for liberation of Niger Delta Region and south-south zone of the federation.
Dokpesi told the media in Abuja that such threats coming from Jonathan’s camp was an indication that the entire groups championing his campaign was never sure about their ability to make him win the 2011 presidential elections, a reason he said they had recourse to blackmail, intimidation, coercion and harassments.
Said he, “The unfolding scenario is definitely, and actively supported by the Jonathan group campaigners. I also wish to state that at 9.30 pm yesterday, my relations and children received some telephone calls threatening to kidnap my first son Raymond Dokpesi Jnr. by Monday 13, if I do not step down as Director General of this Campaign Organisation. If the Jonathan group is doing well, if they are sure of victory, why should they recourse to intimidation. Why do they have to resort to blackmail? It is an indication that they are facing a lot of challenges and problems and they have only been running propaganda.
“The names (of those involved in South-South Elders Forum) are clearly written in our petition to the Police. I know the source, because I was chairman South-South Peoples Assembly. There is no point in mentioning Cynthia Whyte as Cynthia Whyte. It is from the Villa that they made the contacts on that one, and requested that that statement should be issued. It is directly from the Villa.
I have no evidence of Jonathan’s involvement -Dokpesi
“Let me state it clearly for respect for the constitution and people of Nigeria that I do not have direct evidence on the fact that he (Jonathan) is involved. But I will not rule out the possibility that he is aware
“The list is made of three serving ministers and several very known campaigners for Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
It will be recalled that Dr Dokpesi was recently dismissed from the South South Peoples Assembly by its leadership for working against the collective aspiration of the zone, while a prominent militant group had declared him a persona non grata in the zone.
Niger Delta indigenes were also barred from featuring on the daily Kakaki programme of the AIT, owned by the Edo Chief. Governors and government agencies in the zone have also been told to stop patronising the media outfit.
The zone decided to descend hard on Dokpesi for working against the interest of the zone in the forthcoming presidential contest.
Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on National Assembly Matters, Hon Cairo Ojougboh on Saturday dismissed the allegations levelled against the President, some ministers and himself by Chief Raymond Dokpesi as coming from a person of questionable character.
Ojougboh, who responded to Sunday Tribune's inquiries during a telephone interview said that the allegations are baseless and needed not be dignified.
"I have not been in any meeting with any Minister, Chief Graham. Douglas or Chief Don Etiebet and we have never discussed anything to do with kidnap of anybody. He said: "We are working with our President. He is a gentleman whose campaign is based on issues. We don't want to join issues with some persons of questionable character.
"The President does not believe in blackmail and his concern is the wellbeing of all Nigerians. Please tell the world that we have nothing to do with the kidnap of Dokpesi or anyone, we, who are involved in the campaign, are interested in issues.
"I am in my village. I ve been handling my own senatorial campaign and meeting with traditional leaders, I don't, have any businesss with blackmail," Ojougboh said.
When contacted, a presidency source, who pleaded anonymity said, “it is a wild allegation. There can never be a time a person will sit down to plan against Dokpesi. If he has his problems with Edwin Clarke which appears to be long, that is his problem. The villa cannot be involved in such shenanigans.”