On Saturday, a civil rights organisation, Vanguards of Nigeria’s Democracy raised an alarm over alleged moves by President Muhammadu Buhari to “investigate, malign and imprison” ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on trumped-up charges.
The said group accused the President and his All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration of anti-Niger Delta tendencies and referred to the ongoing controversy between the former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole over Excess Crude Account and allegations, as a ploy to get at former President Goodluck Jonathan.
However Mr. Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), described the allegation by the group as mere speculation. Adesina asked why people would dwell on speculations when nothing concrete has been established against former President Jonathan.
The spokesperson of VND, Mr. Osaghae Ogiemudia, in a statement obtained by Sunday Punch in Abuja, also claimed that anti-Niger Delta and anti-Ijaw posturing of the APC-led government of Buhari has been demonstrated in several ways. He said, “We the members of the Vanguards of Nigeria’s Democracy, are aware of some clandestine moves made by the APC-led government to probe, investigate, malign and imprison ex-President Jonathan. We are already aware of the trumped-up charges the APC government is levelling against a man who has diligently served the Nigerian state at the highest level of government. The APC led government should take notice that the appointments made so far are skewed in favour of the North, as no Ijaw man has been appointed. While an Ijaw President did not discriminate in appointment, President Buhari is implementing a Northern agenda thorough some of the appointments.”
According to Ogiemudia, Buhari unilaterally cancelled the waterway surveillance and security contract awarded to the Delta-born Ijaw businessman, Mr. Government Ekpemupolo (also known as Tompolo.)
The group also criticized the sacking of the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi and described it as “one of the principal appointments given to the Ijaws of Bayelsa State.”