Saturday, February 2, 2013

Jonathan to meet with Ijaw leaders over threats from MEND tomorrow [DETAILS]

With the scathing barbs from some Niger Delta leaders, agitators and groups targeted at President Goodluck Jonathan in the recent past, a powerful group from the region will meet tomorrow in Lagos to firm up a regional position for the president. At the meeting, many key political office holders, leaders of Niger Delta agitation groups, traditional leaders, elders and presidential insiders would feature. The planned meeting is a like a stop-gap measure by the Jonathan group to plug further leakage at his home front and also a sign that his camp is not taking for granted the drums of war the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) is beating over jailed leaders. The parley is expected to serve as fence-mending platform to ensure the seeming cracks in the support the president enjoyed are not sustained. In the past four months, Jonathan has been at the butt of horrendous attacks and flaks by former militant leader, Asari Dokubo who once was a staunch pillar of support for his president kinsman. He has in the course championed so many media attacks where he lacerated the government of President Jonathan and threatening to work against his ambition if he plans to run in 2015. While efforts were still underway to rein in Dokubo and his terrible attacks on his man in power, the South Africa court decision last week that found Gideon Okah guilty of terrorism compounded the case. The development where Okah was found guilty of terrorism in the attacks of October 1, 2010 that killed many Nigerians in Abuja flared nerves among his loyalists who have been threatening to resume hostilities in the Niger Delta region in retaliation. As if that was not enough, few days after Okah’s conviction, his collaborator, Edmund Ebiware who had been standing trial over the same bombing got life sentence in an Abuja court. The two incidents that have raised serious concerns on the future of peace in the region and the continued support for Jonathan gave birth to the meeting where the divergent sides would be rallied under one umbrella to re-invent unity and sustain the peace in the region and also secure home backing for Jonathan. The meeting would have key persons in the Jonathan camp and those fighting and attacking him in attendance to reconcile before the 2015 songs starts to ring. The meeting will be a good forum “to attempt a reconciliation of all feuding political blocs in the region as well as ex-militant leaders “Persons expected to attend include Chief E.K Clark, Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas, Godsday Orubebe, Diezani Alison-Madueke, Oronto Douglas, Kingsley Kuku. Key leaders of former agitators including Tompolo, Dokubo-Asari, Boyloaf, Bibopiri Ajube (Shoot-at-Sight), Farah Dagogo, Ateke Tom and many others will be there,” our source said. - The Sun Online

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