- Category: Politics
- Published on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 07:30
- Written by The Nation
- Hits: 1746
President Goodluck Jonathan has said his much-criticised comment in the Independence Day bombings was aimed at getting to the root of the violence.
He made the clarification yesterday, following the controversies generated by his alleged exoneration of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) over the twin- blast that left 12 people dead and 27 others injured.
Jonathan spoke when members of the Northern Political Summit – the G20- visited him at the Presidential Villa.
According to him, his comment was prompted by similar explosions in Edo State, Port Harcourt, Rivers State and Warri, Delta State that were not properly investigated.
"Those of us, who are Christians, believe that there is a demon called Lucifer. Lucifer is a demon and those who bombed Nigeria on that day are more demonic than Lucifer. I did not want to comment just as you advised because if you make comment, people tend to play politics with it.
"So, I have allowed the security agencies to continue with their work. At the end of the day, we will surely unearth those who are behind this. After the incident, I spoke the following day when the ECOWAS Parliament had a programme.I also spoke when I visited the hospital.
"My sin is saying that it was not MEND. That is the sin I have committed," the President said.
The President said he was deeply disturbed by past incidents of similar circumstances that never got enough attention. "And I always explain to people that these car bombs happened first in Benin, Edo State; somebody even died and another occured in Bayelsa State; nobody made an investigation, but they said it was Niger Delta crisis.
"It was buried under MEND, under Niger Delta crisis. Again, another one in Port Harcourt; luckily, nobody died in the Port Harcourt incident, but it was buried. Not too long ago, Vanguard Newspapers organised a programme in Warri; another one happened when governors and senior citizens of this country were meeting; nobody ordered an investigation and it was also buried. Nobody was arrested.
"Then, now in Abuja on October 1, they said MEND again, I said ‘no’, we cannot continue to bury this under Niger Delta crisis or MEND," he said.
On the need for credible elections, the President said: "I also agree with you that as a nation, we must make sure that we conduct free and fair elections. Without free and fair elections, we cannot say that we are democratic; in a democratic society, people must be allowed to elect their leaders.
"We must make sure that all votes of the people count."
Senator Ibrahim Idah, who spoke on behalf of the G-20, condemned the comments made by members of the Northern Political Leaders Forum, led by Alhaji Adamu Ciroma, on the bombs, saying that as senior citizens, they should be seen as building the country, rather than making comments that divide its people.