Sunday, January 27, 2013

FG Replies MEND’s threat and Ezekwesili’s allegation

The federal government has dissociated itself from the conviction of Mr Henry Okah, the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) by a South African court following threats by the group to resume hostilities.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Sunday, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, said this not the time for any group to threaten the peace and unity of the nation.
He appealed to Nigerians to team up with the federal government in sustaining the peace being enjoyed in most parts of the country.
MEND had on Saturday in a statement signed by  Comrade Azizi, threatened to unleash series of attack which would include nuclear attacks over the conviction of Henry Okah in South Africa.
The militant group stated that it will unleash a campaign of terror with plans to destabilize and break up Nigeria.
The group also declared the Minister of the Niger Delta Minister, Mr. Godsday Orubebe, persona non grata, advising him to stay away from the region.
South Africans resident in Nigeria were also asked to advise their home government to steer clear of Nigeria’s affairs.
Mr. Okah, was last week found guilty on 13 counts and faces a minimum sentence of life in prison in South Africa, where he was found guilty of masterminding two car bombs that killed at least 10 people in Abuja at the Independence Day ceremony in 2010.
Spurious allegations
On the statement credited to a former Vice President of the World Bank, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, that the Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan government had squandered the $67 billion (about N10.6trillion) in foreign reserves, saved by the Obasanjo administration, the Minister of information described the statements as spurious allegations and inaccurate.
Acknowledging that Nigeria still faces some challenges, most of which were built up over a long period, the Minister appealed to those who have been privileged to serve the nation to desist from making statements that are untrue.
The Information Minister who was flanked by the Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe; Economic Adviser, Prof. Nwanze Okedegbo and Special Adviser on Performance Monitoring, Prof. Sylvester Monye; said the allegations of Ezekwesili were curious in the light of the fact that she  has been part of governance in the past.
------Channel TV News
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