Former Minister of Information and Communications, Mr. Labaran Maku, on Tuesday in Abuja said he never accused President Goodluck Jonathan of being a sponsor of violent sect, Boko Haram.
He also stated that more than 60 villages in Nasarawa State had been destroyed because of social and political unrest.
Speaking with journalists, Maku, who is also the Nasarawa State governorship candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance, said reports in the social media linking him with accusing the President of being a mastermind of Boko Haram insurgency, were the handiwork of Jonathan’s enemies, who want to pull the President down.
He said the unnamed enemies had decided to use him (Maku) due to his profile and closeness to the President.
According to him, despite himself and his campaign organisation refuting such claims for over two weeks, “the enemies of President Jonathan have continued to tell lies with a view to putting me and the President in bad light.”
Maku said, “There are desperate plans to slander the President by his opponents. About two weeks ago, I saw on the social media an image quoting me to have accused Jonathan of sponsoring Boko Haram. But my campaign organisation dismissed the report; yet they continued their mischievous fiction.
“We continued to deny it. But I was also quoted as saying that Jonathan was behind the attacks in my state. They were looking for someone who is close to the President for people to believe. The opponents of the President are doing this to pit me against him. I find this report very reprehensible, very unprofessional and mischievous.
“It is absolute desperation by enemies of the President to pull him down using my name. My position on violence in this country has been very consistent. Terror attacks have been a mix of religion and politics. Terrorism has become an international phenomenon.
“Some people are using terrorism to turn the public against Jonathan and discredit him. Terrorism follows the theory of guerrilla warfare. Because terrorists do not carry uniform, they operate everywhere”.
The ex-minister said he was campaigning for Jonathan because he considered the President’s election higher than his own and also because Jonathan was the adopted candidate of APGA.
Maku said, “I come from Nasarawa State where terrorism is also serious through attacks in villages. More than 60 villages in Nasarawa State have been destroyed because of social and political reasons. I want to make it clear that at no point in my life have I linked the President with terrorism. I worked for my conscience and I cannot betray a government I served for six years. I believe in Jonathan, who has made the economy strong in the midst of war.
“Opponents have the right to attack the President but we must approach this campaign with all sense of decency as there is a limit to propaganda. We should know that there is still God in all we do. This insinuation that because I am in APGA and have turned against him is not true. He is still my candidate, despite my being in APGA. I am leading his campaign.
“Those who are doing this should remove the name of Labaran Maku. We must not take the President for granted because one day, we will remember him.”—The Citizen