Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in his reaction to the recent deployment of soldiers of the Nigerian Army to Umuahia, the capital of Abia State, for the South-East Operation Python Dance II, and the announcement of the commencement of the Operation Crocodile Smile in South-West and South-South region, has criticized the alleged military show of force.
He also commended Senate President Bukola Saraki for criticizing the declaration of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group.
The Senate President had on Monday noted that the Armed Forces of Nigeria had no right to declare IPOB a terror group.
Jonathan also slam the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, for alleging that IPOB was being sponsored by treasury looters. “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,” Jonathan said,
Mr. Jonathan’s message was issued via Social Media by his aide, Reno Omokri.
Read the full message below as seen on Jonathan’s Facebook page;
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?
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.
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 tread 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.
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.
Lai Mohammed should think about these as information minister and should know that he is minister for information not minister for propaganda.
Reno Omokri, for (Dr. Goodluck Jonathan)
Bestselling author of Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years: Chibok, 2015 and Other Conspiracies