By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – SOME leaders from Niger Delta region Sunday told President Muhammadu Buhari to speak out over the alleged harassment of the family of former President Goodluck Jonathan by the Federal Government’s security agencies, claiming that lack of respect to the family was becoming unbearable.
The group also said that they would be forced to seek the option of protecting the lives and property of the family of the former President if nothing was done to stop incessant raiding of property belonging to Jonathan family.
Addressing journalists after an assessment of Jonathan’s house at Gwarimpa, Abuja that was recently raided by the security agencies, Niger Delta Youth Coalition for Peace and Progress, NDYPP, also said that all the items carted away from the house should be returned with immediate effect and those behind the raid publicly prosecuted.
Alleging that the Niger Delta people had been provoked many times by the government and its agents, NDYPP said that all the things removed from Jonathan’s family house had not been made public.
The National President of Niger Delta Youths Coalition for Peace and Progress, Pastor Olayinka Jude Teidor accused the Federal Government of being behind the travails the former first family was facing.
He said, “We strongly believe the federal government is involved because agencies of government are involved. Where are security men drafted to provide security to the property.
“For God’s sake, he is not an ordinary citizen, he is the immediate past former first family and if this can happen to that kind of personality, it means we are not saved in the Niger Delta.
“We are aggrieved, pained and we are calling on federal government that this matter should not be swept under the carpet He is a public figure so the investigations ought to be made public so that Nigerians will know.”
He said that going by media reports, those involved in raiding Jonathan’s house had been apprehended and being prosecuted but wondered why the items that were carted away had not been made public.
He said “They should make public the things recovered and how the matter is being treated.
“We are very pained. The Niger Delta is still being marginalized, the road from Edo to Kogi state is deplorable. All those things are making us to be angry and now they are maltreating the former first family from the Niger Delta.
“We are calling on the federal government led by president Buhari to step in. We want the Federal Government to release every fund ceased from the former first family especially that of former First Lady Patience Jonathan.
“She is not the only former First Lady, there is obvious connivance in this administration. For God’s sake she has not held any appointment.
“She was a former deputy governor’s wife, former acting governor’s wife, former governor’s wife, former vice president’s wife, former acting president’s wife and former president’s wife
“In all these period she will enjoy some patronage and good will from the people from Nigeria and other parts of the world.
“She is a grassroots person, she is also a business woman. For Christ sake, we have seen former first families opening universities here and outside this country. We have seen where former public officers are investing their loot outside this country.
“But this is a lady who is living here, she has not ran away, providing jobs for people. This is the same person they are subjecting to this kind of treatment and we feel pained and threatened.
“The Niger Delta is aggrieved and we are calling on the federal government to step into this matter and hands off all the properties belonging to the former first families and to protect their properties and business concerns.
“Please we want to see fairness. Nigeria is passing through turbulent times, we are all aware of what is happening in the south east.
“This is not hate speech this is hate personified being directed to a region. If they are doing this to the most prominent person from the region by extension you are doing it to the entire Niger Delta. We are pained.
Tells FG to show restrain
“We are calling on the federal government to show restrain in their activities against the former first family, they should do the needful so that Nigerians will see that they are transparent, they are not selective. This kind of thing they are doing to the former First Lady is enough for her to develop health challenges. It is not fair.
“We are also calling on former heads of state, Generals Ibrahim Babangida, Olusegun Obasanjo, Abdulsalami Abubakar to mediate in this matter because what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
“Let them treat this matter fairly. The Federal government should leave Jonathan and his family alone. We are not happy. ”
Also collaborating what the President of the group had said, its General Secretary, Charles Jumbo from Bonny Island described the alleged ill treatment to Jonathan’s family as despicable.
Jumbo said, “This is a despicable act. As a matter of fact going by history I don’t think there is any former leader in the whole of Nigeria who has experienced this kind of robbery.
“It is mind blowing that the first family, the highest ranking Niger Deltan can be subjected to this level of treatment. It is on record that no former first family has faced this type of harassment. We have every reason to believe that the security agencies are culpable because how can you explain this level of robbery.
“As a matter of fact, we want to believe that the security agencies are involved in this. We know the police arrested some suspects. Those who were supposed to be protecting the property were the same ones that stole the property.
“At the moment we don’t know if they were found with any of the property looted from the place, we don’t have any conclusion as to the matter. This act is very worrisome.
“If the president do not step and take the right action to call on the agencies of authority to conduct a proper investigation, we can look at the other sides of events in the Niger Delta because we are aggrieved. We are very displeased with what we have seen and it is not acceptable by any standard.”
When asked which other option they will be considering of the government did not heed to their demands, Jumbo said they will resort to taking up the responsibility of protecting the family.
He said, “Jonathan is an illustrious son from the region and the most high ranking who cannot be given the nearest form of protection. We cannot stand and fold our arms and watch he and his family being treated in this manner.
“We are not going to break the law of course but we are going to mobilize ourselves in large numbers so that the protection the government cannot provide for them we will provide for them ourselves.”
When asked what the group expected the government to do in the immediate, he said, “There are two prayers. One, the federal government through the president must put together a full panel of enquiry and everybody who is responsible for this act is brought to book.
“Secondly, it is out of place that all this while there has been fictitious report about the former first family and the president has not made any statement.
“The president must make a public statement to debunk the claims that are not true so that the reputation of the first family is not dented. The government should apologize for some of the things that have been said about them that are not true.”