The Presidency has denied allegations about the existence of a 21 man committee, allegedly set up to advise President Goodluck Jonathan on a purported 2015 presidential ambition.
In a press statement emailed to Channels Television on Tuesday, the Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), Dr Reuben Abati stated that “the Presidency has noted with concern that some individuals, groups, organisations and sections of the media have continued to foster the myth of a President and Administration solely concerned with jostling and self-positioning for the 2015 elections.”
Referring to a ThisDay Newspaper front page story published On Monday, April 15, 2013 titled “21-member c’ttee Empanelled for Jonathan’s Second Term Bid” Dr Abati stated the story is “totally untrue.”
According to Dr Abati’s statement, the story claimed that “the President’s aides and associates have set up a 21-member committee to advise (President) Jonathan on the viability of his entry into the presidential contest in 2015.”
Dr Abati further explained that these claims are “without any basis in reality. President Jonathan has not yet taken a decision on whether or not he will seek re-election in 2015 and has therefore not mandated any individual, committee or organisation to start working on his behalf for the 2015 elections.”
He also denied the authenticity of an advertorial which appeared at page 14 of the Saturday Vanguard of April 13, 2013 signed by one OBITEX Industrial and Investment Company Limited.
The advert shows President Jonathan purportedly raising the hand of Nze Akachukwu Nwankpo, under the umbrella of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) with the suggestion that the President has endorsed Nze Nwankpo as the PDP Gubernatorial candidate for Anambra state.
The advertiser claims as follows: “As Mr. President, His Excellency Dr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan has symbolically raise (sic) up your hands, so you have been chosen by the God Almighty to be the Governor of Anambra State come 2014.”
In Abati’s response, “The Presidency emphatically states that President Jonathan has not endorsed any candidate for any position whatsoever ahead of the 2015 general elections neither has he commissioned persons to start campaigns for his own candidature.”
He credited the false insinuations to political office seekers, their sponsors and friends or collaborators and warned such people to desist from exploiting the President’s name.