Presidency warns of “dire consequences” in Niger Delta if Jonathan is not re-elected….Premium Times

A presidential aide has warned of “dire consequences” in the oil rich Niger Delta should President Goodluck Jonathan fail to secure a fresh term in 2015.

In a startling remark to U.S. officials in Washington on Thursday, Special Adviser to the president on Niger Delta, and chairman, presidential amnesty programme, Kingsley Kuku, said current relative peace in the Niger Delta is tied to the continued stay in office of Mr. Jonathan, and strongly urged the American government to back his presidency.

Mr. Kuku, who spoke at a session with officials of the U.S. State Department led by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (Bureau of African Affairs), Donald Teitelbaum, told the Americans that only Mr. Jonathan can guarantee peace in the restive region and hence, the compelling need to persuade him to seek re-election in 2015.

“It is true that the presidential amnesty programme has engendered peace, safety and security in the sensitive and strategic Niger Delta. 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,” Mr. Kuku said.

The presidential aide said the consequences would be dire if the U.S. gets distracted by the activities of terror cells in parts of northern Nigeria, and takes its attention off the Niger Delta.

“Terrorism is a global phenomenon. President Jonathan inherited the situation in northern Nigeria and he has adopted a multifaceted approach to tackle this unfortunate situation. So far, profound results are being achieved,” he said. “But I insist that this must not distract the U.S. and the international community from giving the Niger Delta region of Nigeria the requisite attention.”

“I hope the U.S. is aware that with peace and stability in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s economy will remain buoyant enough to empower the Federal Government to contend with terrorism and other forms of insecurity in other parts of the country.

“However if we allow anything to hurt the peace in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s economy will be endangered and energy security in Nigeria and even America will not be guaranteed. The attention and interest of the U.S. in Nigeria must remain the stability of the Niger Delta and the easiest way to ensure this is to encourage President Jonathan to complete an eight-year term,” he said.

Mr. Kuku, who has pushed for talks with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, after the group warned of restarting fighting in the region, told the session that the Niger Delta continues to yearn for attention and development.

“In spite of the peace that prevails in the Niger Delta now, the issues that led to militancy in the first place are yet to be properly addressed. The issues of development, greater say in the control of the resource that comes from the place, issues of environmental remediation, youth unemployment among others are still there,” he said.

“However, the agitators are prepared to patiently await development as long as one of their own, Dr. Jonathan remains the President, and I think this is one thing the American government should reflect seriously on.”

In response, Mr. Teitelbaum acknowledged his country was worried about the activities of terror cells in northern Nigeria, but said the U.S remains committed to deepening of the peace in the Niger Delta.

He said that the U.S. views the Niger Delta amnesty program as a huge success, and pledged that the State Department will brief other organs of the U.S. Government on possible ways of offering technical support to the amnesty program.

At a separate meeting with members of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) in Washington DC on Thursday, Mr. Kuku challenged investors, particularly Americans, to leverage on the relative peace that the amnesty program has engendered in the Niger Delta to invest in the region.

He told the members that following the proclamation and the acceptance of amnesty by former agitators in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s economy witnessed astronomical growth as crude oil production, which had declined to as low as 700,000 barrels per day in the first quarter of 2009, has been rising steadily and currently stands about 2.6 million barrels per day.

Mr. Kuku however warned that unless the thousands of youths being offered skills and vocational training by the Amnesty Office become gainfully employed, peace may once again elude the Niger Delta.

“We were given the mandate to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate these ex-agitators. We are doing just that and peace has returned to the Niger Delta as several of the ex-agitators are now very busy in schools and vocational centers across the world. But what becomes of them after their training is our biggest challenge now. On our part, we have done our best but we now need the practical support of all persons and nations who truly seek and want peace in the Niger Delta, to join efforts to create employment opportunities for our youths,” Mr. Kuku told the American investors.

The CCA President and Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Hayes, said the Council was irrevocably committed to attracting American investors to Africa.

JD:This is the greatest insult ever bestowed on the 160 million people who make up Nigeria and its a very very bad signal.When i say the Jonathan group will not take prisoners towards the actualization of their efforts to re install their principal in 2015,I never knew it would get to such indecent levels.
so what Kuku or whatever he represents is doing in effect is saying that if we don’t elect Jonathan in 2015 we will know no peace.I consider this statement not only insulting,but completely irresponsible and reckless given the fragile nature of the Nigerian state today.Come to think of it is the statement not treasonable ?Is it not capable of pitching one section of the country against others for i can tell Mr Kuku upfront,this blackmail wont hold.Their man has been in the saddle for 6 years,we have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at getting peace in the Niger Delta ranging from 13 percent derivation,NNDC,Ministry of Niger Delta , the amnesty program;and turning their fat cats into billionaires through spurious contracts and pay offs and one of the reasons why we have little  to show for all these efforts is because it is their people that have lined their pockets with funds earmarked for development and left the areas completely undeveloped.Even the president had to lament the total ineffectiveness of the NNDC. Meanwhile it is their principal,who pardoned their governor who lined his pocket with state funds.I guess Mr Kuku doesn’t realize that Nigerians would be ready at the appropriate time to call their bluff on this, for pray ask me,even with the increase in oil revenue,how much of it has benefited the average Nigerian?With the level of corruption under this present regime in the past 6 years we might just be better off without oil revenues and perhaps we will actually know some peace whilst the bowler hats do as they please with what  they think is a God given gift,which has turned out to be albatross of their ordinary citizens.
Like the Americans would say,we wont negotiate with blackmailers

10 Comments

  1. This is cheap blackmail. If kuku like, make him carry gun, because the only way Jonathan will win is if he starts geting results nigerians expect of him. Why can’t we think like civilised people? Kuku and his cohorts are the main problem the niger deltans are having. So let them check themselves and leave nigeria in peace.

  2. This the height of insensitive, crude and ill prepared government, who don’t know their right from left. Let them go ahead and wallow in their dreams. We now know better. Nigerians know better. 2015 is at hand. At the right time we will speak with our vote. Maybe its high time this people even keep their oil and see if Nigeria will not survive. We are waiting. We cannot be blackmailed. Good riddance to bad government.

  3. Now the bird is coming home to roost!.It Tony Uranta who said the biggest problem of the Goodluck presidency is the type of ‘mediocres’ it has surrounded itself with.I think this is the whole truth and nothing but the truth…because i don’t see why he thinks Pres. Jonathan is the best thing since sliced bread.

  4. So, when the man contests the election, if he becomes the presidential candidate of his party, that is, and he loses, we are in trouble.
    Only in Nigeria would such a treasonable statement be made and a thanksgiving service follows.

  5. How do people like Kuku get into corridors power? Why are people bereft of ideas the one using the state funds to speak balderdash before foreigners? Who told PDP that they’ll still be controlling power in 2015? What has Nigerians benefitted under Jonathan that will makd them clamour for his return? Would the Americans be the one to choose president for Nigerians? So many questions begging for answers…

  6. JD,words of Elders will surely come to pass.If not in the morning,definately at night.Some of us saw it coming or happening rather.KO SI BI AOTISHE EBOLO TIKO NI RUN IGBE.Niger Delta!!!!!!!! Truely The nation’s source of wealth is located in thier region,but they lack wisdom to control the country as a Leader.Infact if this country splits they cant even manage thier natural endowment.But they should realise that inspite of thier disturbances during Abacha and OBJ’S era they were supressed.I’m optimistic that a competent Leader that will still supress any sensiless uprising from that region should GEJ return home come 2015 will emerge.

  7. Jimi, I humbly think that we worry too much these days over political comments. Don’t you imagine that because of the stress level in this country, most Nigerians will need psychological help to become normal again. And I don’t think that our beloved brother Kuku has sought this important help.Guys! Lets live each day as it comes.. Nothing dey happen. My only worry is the forum where he made this comment. Why US Officials? Can’t we contain this madness until help comes? Why do we derive joy I creating impression that the worst is still to happen in Nigeria and in the process drive away FDIs? Jimi, I have strong (nearly prophetic) logic and permutations that point to the fact that the next election will be the most peaceful in Nigeria

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