The former Minister of Niger Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe, has openly denied the report of his alleged plot to abduct the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, when he staged a protest to stop further collation of results during the declaration of presidential election results at the collation centre in Abuja.
Reports have it that Orubebe’s action was a deliberate attempt to cause chaos 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, wondered why a section of the media would 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.
“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 said further:
“Count me out of any plot to abduct Jega. I am too disciplined 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”.
The former minister said he had since directed his lawyer to write the management of ThisDay Newspapers, informing them of his plans to take a legal action against them as well as to demand immediate retraction of its Friday, April 17 publication, which indicted him of allegedly acting out a script to pave way for Jega’s kidnap.
‘I have directed my lawyer to write ThisDay and stop them henceforth from further publishing and misleading Nigerians”. Orubebe accused the newspaper of flouting the ethics of the journalism profession and balanced reportage , saying it in clear terms that ‘I was never called nor SMS as they claim.’
Orubebe had tendered an apology to Nigerians shortly after the drama at the result collation center. He said he was pushed by the conduct of Prof.Jega, who, according to him, failed to exhibit fairness and equity to his party’s petition as he did to APC’s petition against Rivers State election result.
When contacted, his advocate, Mr. S. Larry (SAN), said he had already written to alert the newspaper of Orubebe’s decision to take legal action against the management.