By Emma Amaize, Henry Umoru and Jimitota Onoyume, Abuja
The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday asked the former federal Commissioner for Information and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, NDPVF, Alhaji Mujahid Asari- Dokubo, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo and other Niger Delta militants to be mindful of what they say at this period of the nation’s political history.
The PDP also warned other support groups, organisations, professional bodies and associations rooting for President Goodluck Jonathan to be careful with their utterances to ensure decency in the polity.
This was even as ex- MEND Commanders in the Niger Delta, gave General Theophilus Danjuma seven days ultimatum to apologize over his call for the arrest of Asari Dokubo,Tompolo for threatening that Nigeria would break up if President Jonathan lost the February Presidential election. The ex-militants said that war would follow in Nigeria if Jonathan lost the election. Chief Clark and the ex-militants blasted General Danjuma in their reaction, saying that his remarks were disappo-inting. At a meeting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital yesterday, the former militant commanders in the region condemned the call for the arrest of front line freedom fighters in the region, Alhaji Mujahideen Asari Dokubo and Government Ekpemupolo a.k.a Tompolo, saying that the call amounted to a declaration of war against the Niger Delta region.
Former MEND Commander, Victor Ebikabowei Ben, alias General Boyloaf, also asked General Danjuma to apologise and hide his head in shame or face humiliation.
However, speaking with newsmen in Abuja, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh noted that although the party appreciated the support of all Nigerians, it was disturbed over the provocative statements of some people which could provoke other parts of the country, warning that Jonathan was not an Ijaw President or that of the South South geo- political zone of the country alone but the president of all Nigerians.
Metuh said, “we want to stress and state publicly, that whilst we have noted the interest, zeal and enthusiasms of individuals, various groups, support groups and organisations, that are supporting the president with statements, adverts, documentaries and TV programmes; we appeal to them to be guided by the noble ideals and the visions of the founding fathers of our party.
“We are not in agreement with their statements and we are cautioning them to mind what they say. No individuals own the party. The President could be more loved in Anambra than Ijaw area. He has support in Adamawa than in Bayelsa States…
“Well, we have noted that whilst we are not responsible for the utterances, statements of some of our support individuals, groups and organizations; we are cautioning them to be mindful of what they say.
“Ours is a national party. We cover all zones, all local governments. No individual owns our party, no group, no people, no zone owns our party. And being a national party, we caution some of our people, some of our supporters to be mindful of the zeal that they exhibit. Let the wrong impression not be given.
“President Jonathan could even be more loved in Anambra than in the Ijaw area. He could even be more loved in Zamfara than in the Ijaw area. He could even have more support and more votes from Adamawa than in Ijaw. And to buttress this, yesterday in the campaign, Mr President informed all that the Adamawa people gave him twice the number of votes that he got from Bayelsa. So the president is not the president of Ijaw, he is not president of Bayelsa; he is not president of South South, he is the president of the entire Nigeria and he has the support of the entire country.” On PDP’s anticipated victory, Metuh said, “We are rounding up next week. So we have done over 70 percent of our campaign.
Alhaji Asari- Dokubo had threatened that “ ex- militants would return to their old ways should President Jonathan lose the election,” at a meeting last week in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital,
Reacting to the issue, the former Minister of Defence, General Theophilous Danjuma called for the arrest of Dokubo and other former Niger Delta Militants for threatening to rock the boat should President Jonathan lose the February 14 election.
Danjuma who described the statements as reckless, had said, “those are very reckless statements made by irresponsible individuals and they should be condemned. In fact, they should be arrested.’’
But responding to Danjuma, Chief Edwin Clark, Tompolo, Dokubo, others tongue lashed the former Minister, accusing him of sponsoring attacks on Jonathan and that the government should arrest him rather than the ex- militants. Clark who said he was disappointed at the call by Danjuma for the arrest of the Ex- Militants, stressed that he (Danjuma) ought to have condemned the attacks on Jonathan in several states in the North.
Meanwhile, ex militant Commanders in the Niger Delta region have asked General Danjuma to apologise over his call for the arrest of front line freedom fighters in the region or face problems.
‘General’ Reuben Wilson aka Pastor who handed the ultimatum on behalf of other commanders of Defunct Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND in Port Harcourt said Danjuma had by his call for arrest of Niger delta crusaders called for war against the region. Wilson who is now president Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative said Danjuma was among northern leaders that had richly benefited from the oil resource in the region.
“Our attention has been drawn to publications credited to T.Y.Danjuma, a former defence minister, calling for the arrest of former Niger Delta freedom fighters, including our frontline selfless leader and hero, Alhaji Mujahid Asari Dokubo.
“As much as he has the right to free speech, Danjuma ought to know that the oil money he is enjoying today, through his ownership of oil blocs, came from our sacrifices and blood. We staked our life to fight for the development of our country. We fought for freedom for our land and it pains us that people like Danjuma who have reaped bountifully from the Niger Delta, can wake up to insult our sensibilities.
“For Danjuma to call for the arrest of Asari Dokubo, then he has walked on the tail of the serpent. The much we know is that we the ex militants who decided to drop our guns to join forces with the federal government to develop the country, especially the Niger Delta have never said anything or taken any action that would warrant such explosives from Danjuma,’’ he said and reaffirmed the support of ex militant commanders for the second term bid of Jonathan. “All we have said overtime is that our brother, President Jonathan, is a true son of the Niger Delta, and deserves to enjoy the two terms in office provided for in the constitution. We stand by this right and we will do everything legal and legitimate to make sure that he is not denied that right, not by a thousand Danjumas.