The former minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, has denied any involvement in the alleged plot to kidnap the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega at the presidential results collation centre in Abuja.
Some national dailies (not LEADERSHIP) had alleged that Orubebe’s protest against the abandonment of his petition against underage voting in the North among other complaints against Prof Attahiru Jega was a deliberate attempt to cause chaos at the presidential result collation centre to pave way for Jega’s abduction and trigger national violence.
The former minister who reacted strongly against the allegation in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP, yesterday, wondered why a section of the media will indulge in such “slanderous, libelous, derogatory and deliberate attempt” to dent his image and misled Nigerians after his explanations to justify the protest he staged and the passionate apology he rendered to Nigerians, especially, the teeming youths.
He said, “I am shocked. In fact, am still wondering why I will ever consider conniving with friends and other party stalwarts to foment national violence that will in turn fall on children, women and youths as falsely speculated to the detriment of the unity and peace of our great nation. I am an advocate of peace. This was why I was in the forefront to anchor the celebrated ceasefire with Niger Delta ex- militants to usher in peace to the once restive region. I cannot afford to sacrifice national unity and peace on the platter of power.”
Orubebe insisted, count me out of any plot to abduct Jega. I am too discipline to stoop that low.
I have never thought of that and to this effect, I want to tell Nigerians and the world at large that the circulated story is not only slanderous, liberious but a disparaging defamatory otherwise salacious material against my personality and a cheap strategy to sale their papers’.
Meanwhile, the former minister told LEADERSHIP that he has since directed his lawyer to write the management of ThisDay Newspapers, informing them of his plans to take legal action against them as well as to demand immediate retraction of its Friday, April 17 publication, which indicted him of reading a script to pave way for Jega’s kidnap.
‘I have directed my lawyer to write ThisDay and stop them from henceforth, desist from further publishing and misleading Nigerians. Orubebe further accused the paper of flouting the ethics of balance reportage , saying it in clear terms that ‘I was never called nor SMS as they claim.’
It would be recalled that Orubebe who regretted his actions and tendered apology to Nigerians shortly after the drama at the result collation center as published by LEADERSHIP , had explained that he was pushed by the conduct of Prof.Jega , who failed to exhibit fairness and equity to his party’s petition as he did to APC’s petition against Rivers state result.
When contacted, his advocate, Mr. S. Larry (SAN), said, he has already written to alert the paper of Orubebe’s decision to take legal action against them.