2015: Niger Delta Militants Will Back Jonathan – Ex-Militant Leader

A former militant in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, Godsday Smith, alias Bouninawei (meaning “the god of the forest”), have said former armed militants from the region would rally round President Goodluck Jonathan in next month’s election. Smith, who reportedly spoke to Vanguard, in Warri, Delta State, disproved the purported endorsement of the All Progressives Congress’, APC, presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND.
Smith said, “The APC manipulated the purported online statement with the name of MEND to boost their dying camp and I want to say that such treachery should stop forthwith.”
He added that “There was no time MEND issued any press statement against President Ebele Jonathan”
Smith said “Jonathan is our son, there is no way ex-agitators of Niger Delta will support Buhari against their son, President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 general elections.”
Smith was equally reported to have rebutted Jonathan’s claim at a campaign rally that MEND plotted to kill him twice, while naming its leader, Henry Okah, as the one paid to do the job. Smith and MEND have denied assassination attempts on the president’s life. To him, the allegation was hasty, while MEND challenged Jonathan to name those he claimed paid Okah to kill him in 2010.
MEND asked the president to “also explain why these persons, as he obviously knows who they are, were not arrested, tried and convicted.”
MEND said it viewed Jonathan’s “recent campaign rally speech as the most outrageous and ridiculous speech by any President, where he openly accused Mr Henry Okah of being paid to assassinate him.”
The militant group said “Rather than address his administration’s failures, he chose to descend so low by using a very cheap bare faced (method) to get sympathy. Is this the kind of President the country wants to be stuck with for another four years of misery?”

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