June 9, 2009

Group flays call for Jonathan’s resignation

ABUJA—The South-South Elements Progressive Union (SSEPU) has flayed demands for the resignation of Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan from office on account of the persisting crisis in the Niger Delta creeks.

Mr. Joe Ambakaderimo, National President of the group, in an interview, nevertheless condemned the militants whose continued activities, he said,  were disrespectful of the Vice-President and his office.

He said that continued militancy was a slap in the face of the peace entreaties earlier embarked upon by the Vice-President.

“I will not support the calls for the Vice-President to resign. It is the boys, the so called militants who do not respect the Vice-President. If they respected him they wouldn’t have continued to do what they are doing,’’ Ambakaderimo said yesterday.

There have been various calls on the Vice-President, who hails from Bayelsa State in the heart of the oil rich Niger Delta region, to abdicate his position on account of the brutal use of force by the military in the region.

“After the Vice-President visited them at Okerenkoko, I faulted it because I said that these boys are not responsible (and would not) keep their own side of the bargain and that is what is happening now.’’

Affirming that calls on Dr. Jonathan to resign from office in protest against the heavy use of force against his kindred was in bad faith, he said:

“Whoever is calling for the Vice-President’s resignation is doing it in bad faith because if they had respected the Vice-President as our own, then they shouldn’t have continued in what they are doing.’’

Asked if the Vice-President had acted appropriately since the commencement of the war in the creeks, he said:

“Yes, he has because for one we in the Niger Delta sold out our man for a pot of porridge. We sold out the Vice-President, we didn’t respect him, didn’t respect his office.

Even if you don’t like his face as the Vice-President of this country, then respect the office he is occupying.’’