- Category: Politics
- Published on Wednesday, 29 September 2010 05:21
- Written by The Nation
- Hits: 1286
THE President Tuesday denied stopping the Igbo political stakeholders’ conference in Owerri, Imo State. President Goodluck Jonathan said it was unfair to link him with the alleged disruption of the summit on Monday.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Ima Niboro, Jonathan cautioned politicians against making unfounded allegations.
The Southeast Caucus in the Senate condemned the incident, describing the lock out of prominent Igbo leaders at the summit’s venue as slight on the race.
The leaders were denied access to the banquet hall of Hotel Concord, Owerri, where they were to hold a political stakeholders conference to discuss the fate of the Southeast in the emerging political dispensation.
Deputy President of the Senate Ike Ekweremadu said the caucus would investigate the incident with a view to unravelling the circumstances surrounding the stoppage of the meeting.
"We condemn the lock out of prominent Igbo political leaders by the management of the Hotel Concord, Owerri on Monday. We will find out the details of what transpired at the venue and the circumstances surrounding the incident.
"It is our responsibility as representatives of the Southeast in the Senate to find out the identities of those behind the incident and we believe that such an ugly incident will not happen again", Ekweremadu said.
A rights group, Environment Watch led by Comrade Osita Obi, also condemned the development.
Obi said Jonathan was causing confusion in the country by joining the 2011 presidential race, asking him to step down for the North to complete its tenure in 2015.
Jonathan, he said, was jeopardising the chances of the Ndigbo in 2015 general elections, adding that the Southeast would not continue to be back benchers.
Niboro said the president would prefer that all politicians concentrate on issue based campaigns rather than campaign of calumny.
The statement reads: "This is to strongly repudiate perceptions in certain quarters that the Presidency is behind the alleged disruption of the Igbo Political Stakeholders Conference in Owerri yesterday (Monday).
"It is hard to know what purpose could be served by such an action, only hours after the governors of the zone had across party lines, solidly endorsed President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as their candidate in the 2011 elections.
"It is instructive to note than only a day before, all the Speakers of the zone had similarly endorsed Dr. Jonathan for President. It is intriguing that the president is being accused of disrupting the event, when in actual fact, key members of the Jonathan/Sambo Presidential Campaign Council were there in high profile attendance.
"I want to place on record that the President frowns at any and every abridgement of the fundamental rights of Nigerians.
"It is also important to urge a measure of circumspection on all of today’s gladiators. The president seeks politics of issues, and of healthy debate; not of name calling and unfounded allegations."