- Goodluck Jonathan has reacted to a statement by Lai Mohammed that Nnamdi Kanu wasn't against Nigeria's unity during his tenure
- Jonathan admonished Mohammed for dragging him into the IPOB issues
- He urged the Nigerian government to drop propaganda and fish out those they believed are sponsoring the IPOB
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has reacted to a statement by minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu, campaigned for Nigeria's unity during his tenure.
Recall that NAIJ.com reported that the minister during an interview claimed that the IPOB is being sponsored by people who are politically disgruntled and treasury looters.
Jonathan denied sponsoring Kanu to agitate for secession or frustrate the effort of the Buhari's administration.
In a statement released on his official Facebook page and signed by his spokesperson, Reno Omokri, Jonathan said accusing him of sponsoring IPOB has shown that the Buhari's adminstration is yet to leave propaganda for a proper agenda almost three years after getting into power.
The statement read: "Lai Mohammed, leave former President Jonathan out of your tales by moonlight on IPOB
"The insinuations in the press conference given by Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Sunday the 17th of September 2017, accusing the opposition of sponsoring the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and the fact that he mentioned that Nnamdi Kanu preached Nigerian unity during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan is another clear indication that the present administration has not left propaganda mode for proper agenda mode two and a half year into their tenure.
"If the government in which Lai Mohammed serves, knows which opposition members are sponsoring IPOB, then they should identify them, arrest them and then prosecute them.
"Ever since Lai Mohammed made his ill advised statement, a principal member of the All Progressive Congress government and the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, has come out to say that the actions in the Southeast are troubling and some of it are unconstitutional. Is he also sponsoring IPOB too?"
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Jonathan accused Lai Mohammed of speaking out in support of Boko Haram, and kicking against the Jonathan administration for banning it in 2013.
He said: "It is our suspicion that Lai Mohammed is talking from history seeing as he criticized the Jonathan government for banning Boko Haram in a statement he released on June 10, 2013, even though the Jonathan government had gone through due process before proscribing that murderous sect.
"Perhaps Lai Mohammed thinks everybody is like him and those he represents," the statement read."
He however, commended the southeast governors for their quick intervention which he said prevented a major bloodbath in the region.
He said: "I also commend the governors of the Southeast for cooperating with the military and in the process saving lives and property. It is a noble act that should not be ignored.
"However, we want to advise the Buhari administration, which has announced plans to extend the military show of force to the Southsouth and the Southwest through Operation Crocodile Smile, to thread with caution.
"Nigeria is no longer under military rule. In a democracy, you separate the military from the police. The military is not meant to fight criminality within a nation because they are trained to fight a nation's external enemies.
"It is the police that are trained to fight crime Internally.
"When the military starts doing the job of the police and starts fighting or doing what they call a 'show of force', the effect will not be to reduce crime. The effect will be to intimidate people."
He urged the Buhari's administration to focus on its government and agenda rather than a propaganda to tarnish the image of the past administration.
He said: "Let me say again to Lai Mohammed, the time for propaganda is gone. The time for blaming Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for all the unfulfilled promises of the APC government is over. Nigerians are no longer buying it.
"Rome may not have been built in a day, but from day one you could see evidence of builders building up Rome. But what have we seen in the last two and a half years of the Muhammadu Buhari administration? We see a government that from day one has been blaming instead of building.
"Finally, I seize this opportunity to remind Lai Mohammed that under the Jonathan administration the ministry of information had annual ministerial briefing where the media and civil society groups interrogated cabinet ministers on the activities of their departments. 100 days briefing was given to Nigerians on the government's vision and one year briefings was given to the nation on government activities. An elaborate mid term briefing was also given by that government to the country on the achievements of the administration."
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Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that President Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly signed a proclamation proscribing the IPOB.
In a bid to take the heat off the Nigerian army, the president signed the presidential proclamation on Sunday before leaving for the US to attend the 72nd session of United Nations general assembly.
Watch this NAIJ.com video of Nigerians speaking on the Biafra agitation:[embedded content]
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