The House of Representatives has mandated an immediate police investigation of two close allies of President Goodluck Jonathan, who warned of serious consequences if the president is denied a fresh term in 2015.
Lawmakers condemned the comments in the “strongest terms” by presidential adviser on Niger-Delta Amnesty Programme, Kingsley Kuku; and ex-militant leader, Asari Dokubo; and unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday, urging the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to commence investigations.
“While Nigerians are fervently praying for peace in Nigeria, some Nigerians are already out sowing the seed of discord amongst the people,” said Ali Madaki (PDP, Kano), who raised the motion.
Mr. Kuku, who spoke at a meeting with United States officials in Washington, said the president remains the sole custodian of peace in the Niger Delta, and made it clear that the restive region, and by implication, the entire nation, will face crisis if Mr. Jonathan failed to clinch a second term.
“It is true that the presidential amnesty programme has engendered peace, safety and security in the sensitive and strategic Niger Delta,” Mr. Kuku said. “Permit me to add that the peace that currently prevails in the zone is largely because Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who is from that same place, is the President of Nigeria. That is the truth. It is only a Jonathan presidency that can guarantee continued peace and energy security in the Niger Delta.”
He said while the challenges that stoked the Niger Delta crisis have yet to be fully addressed, the agitators-the militants- were prepared to patiently await progress as long as one of their own, Mr. Jonathan, remains the president.
The bellicose remarks, well condemned in the media, drew no rebuke from the presidency. Officials who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES informally, instead, praised Mr. Kuku’s forthrightness.
On Friday, Mr. Dokubo, who recently criticized the president, accusing him of dismal performance in the Niger Delta, told reporters separately that Mr. Jonathan must be returned to office in 2015.
He affirmed Mr. Kuku’s remarks and bluntly warned of a restart of conflict if the president is denied reelection. Mr. Jonathan has not confirmed that he will be seeking a reelection.
Of Mr. Kuku’s remarks, Mr. Dokubo said: “I want to go on to say that, there will be no peace, not only in the Niger Delta but everywhere if Goodluck Jonathan is not president by 2015, except God takes his life, which we don’t pray for.
“Jonathan has uninterrupted eight years of two terms to be president, according to the Nigeria constitution. We must have our uninterrupted eight years of two tenure. I am not in support of any amendment of the constitution that will reduce the eight years of two tenure that Goodluck Jonathan is expected to be president of Nigeria.
“For very long time, our resources from the Niger Delta has been used to feed and fund Nigeria, and some people are still feeling that Nigeria is their personal property, and they can manage it the way they like, but those days are gone forever, it can never come back again.”
The House committee on Public Safety and National Security is to liaise with the police and keep the House informed of developments on the investigation.