President GoodLuck Jonathan has denied the rumour going round that he went to Chad along with the alleged sponsor of Boko Haram, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
In a statement signed by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ruben Abati, it was claimed that the former former Borno State governor was not on President Jonathan’s delegation to Chad.
“Although Senator Sheriff himself has already given the lie to that claim through his Media Adviser, the Presidency wishes to affirm, for the purpose of emphasis, that the former Borno State governor was not on President Jonathan’s delegation to Chad.”
“The totally erroneous basis for that charge was the spurious claim that Senator Sheriff accompanied President Jonathan on his recent trip to Ndjamena as a member of his entourage.”
“The former Governor’s presence in Chad was certainly not at President Jonathan’s instance and he did not participate in any of the President’s discussions with President Idriss Deby or his other engagements in Ndjamena”.
“In keeping with President Jonathan’s commitment to transparency and openness in the conduct of government business, names of the key members of his delegation were announced a day before his trip to Ndjamena”.
“The APC and others who rushed to condemn President Jonathan for a non-existent indiscretion would have found, if they took the least trouble to double-check, that there was absolutely no factual basis for their accusation”.
“Those who associate with Senator Sheriff know that he has longstanding interests in Chad and often spends a lot of his time there. He happened to be in Ndjamena at the time of President Jonathan’s visit and joined other Nigerian residents of the Chadian capital in coming to the airport to welcome their President.”
“That was the full extent of his participation in the visit and it was also at Ndjamena Airport that the pictures which formed the basis of the bogus allegation of President Jonathan hobnobbing with an “accused sponsor of terrorism” were taken”.
“President Jonathan is fully aware of the allegation made against Senator Sheriff by Stephen Davis. That allegation is already being investigated by the security agencies that will make their findings known to the public in due course”.
“He seizes this opportunity to reassure the nation once again of his total commitment to doing all within his powers to bring all identified and verified sponsors of terrorism to justice, and ending the menace of violent extremism in the country”.