Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday recoiled and failed to provide further proof to his allegations that that President Goodluck Jonathan has placed 1000 Nigerians on his watch list to be targeted by snipers.
In a statement in Abeokuta, spokesman to the former President , Mr. Tunde Oladunjoye said Obasanjo will rather maintain his serenity and not elaborate further on his numerous allegations.
“I will maintain my serenity because by this letter, I have done my duty to you as I have always done to you and your government, to the party PDP, and to our country Nigeria.
“Since the publication of the letter written by the President, Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, which was in response to the letter earlier written by the revered former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, we have received several request from both local and international media, asking to know Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s reaction to Mr. President’s response.
“Chief Obasanjo, GCFR, acknowledges Mr President’s letter/ response, however, Baba as he already indicated in his December, 2, 2013, does not wish to make further comments beyond the contents of his last letter to Mr President or react to the said letter/ response from Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Let me reiterate here, that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR, has tremendous respect for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, he said in the statement.
President Goodluck Jonathan had challenged Chief Obasanjo to furnish Nigerians proof to the most grievous allegation that he has placed 1000 Nigerians on watch list to be hit by snipers to name the security agencies that are involved.
“Perhaps the most invidious accusation in your letter is the allegation that I have placed over one thousand Nigerians on a political watch list, and that I am training snipers and other militia to assassinate people. Baba, I don’t know where you got that from but you do me grave injustice in not only lending credence to such baseless rumours, but also publicizing it. You mentioned God seventeen times in your letter. Can you as a Christian hold the Bible and say that you truly believe this allegation?
“The allegation of training snipers to assassinate political opponents is particularly incomprehensible to me. Since I started my political career as a Deputy Governor, I have never been associated with any form of political violence. I have been a President for over three years now, with a lot of challenges and opposition mainly from the high and mighty. There have certainly been cases of political assassination since the advent of our Fourth Republic, but as you well know, none of them occurred under my leadership.
“Regarding the over one thousand people you say are on a political watch list, I urge you to kindly tell Nigerians who they are and what agencies of government are “watching” them. Your allegation that I am using security operatives to harass people is also baseless. Nigerians are waiting for your evidence of proof. That was an accusation made against previous administrations, including yours, but it is certainly not my style and will never be. Again, if you insist on the spurious claim that some of your relatives and friends are being harassed, I urge you to name them and tell Nigerians what agencies of my administration are harassing them.
“Your letter was designed to incite Nigerians from other geopolitical zones against me and also calculated to promote ethnic disharmony. Worse still, your letter was designed to instigate members of our Party, the PDP, against me.
“Your letter conveys to me the feeling that landmines have been laid for me. Therefore, Nigerians need to have my response to the issues raised before the mines explode. You have written similar letters and made public comments in reference to all former Presidents and Heads of Government starting from Alhaji Shehu Shagari and these have instigated different actions and reactions. The purpose and direction of your letter is distinctly ominous, and before it is too late, my clarifications on the issues need to be placed on record.
“More uncharitable persons may even see a touch of sanctimoniousness in your new belief in the carrot and stick approach to overcoming militancy and insurgency. You have always referred to how you hit Odi in Bayelsa State to curb militancy in the Niger Delta. If the invasion of Odi by the Army was the stick, I did not see the corresponding carrot. I was the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State then, and as I have always told you, the invasion of Odi did not solve any militancy problem but, to some extent, escalated it. If it had solved it, late President Yar’Adua would not have had to come up with the amnesty program. And while some elements of the problem may still be there, in general, the situation is reasonably better”, Jonathan said of Obasanjo’s letter.