David Babachir Lawal

Presidency Denies Freezing Jonathan’s Account

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The Presidency yesterday described as patently untrue allegations by demonstrators in Bayelsa State on Thursday that allowances due to  former President Goodluck Jonathan have been stopped and his bank accounts frozen.

It said it has confirmed with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) that the former president and other past leaders were paid their allowances up to the second quarter of 2016.

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the presidency explained that the past leaders were yet to be paid third quarter allowances but will get their dues when remittances are received by the SGF from the Ministry of Finance.

The presidential spokesman said, “Also, the story of account closure is false. It is not known to the investigation agencies. The National Security Adviser to the President is not aware of this bank account closure; the DG SSS is unaware of it, the EFCC is unaware and the IG of Police is not in the know.

“With all of these agencies not being involved, how then could a thing like that happen? In a dream perhaps! To put it starkly, we believe there is a clear motive for the demonstration that is different from that which was being canvassed.

Shehu further noted that the allegation is a premeditated attempt to blame President Muh Buhari for something he knows nothing about.

He said, “These claims are false and poorly sourced to present a picture of vendetta; and they should be disregarded by well-meaning members of the public.

President Buhari remains committed to the ideals of justice and fairness to all irrespective of creed, religion and political leanings. His administration will not engage in vendetta”.

Meanwhile, as the amnesty programme winds up next year, the presidency has said President Muhammadu Buhari has delivered on his promises to the Niger Delta people by ensuring the completion and sustainability of key programmes in the region.

The Special adviser on Niger Delta to the President and coordinator of the Presidential amnesty programme, Brig Gen Paul  Boroh who stated this said the  programme had been a success story, as it has transformed militants to electrical engineers, marine engineers and many other professions.

He spoke during the presentation of a refurbished 200kva 11/415kv transformer and demonstration by the four best graduates from the just concluded Presidential Niger Delta Amnesty Programme on Electric Power Transformer Repair and Maintenance in Port Harcourt by Brainbox Matrix Services Limited.

Boroh said, “First, I appreciate the President for sustaining this Programme because if not for his giving us the go ahead to continue training the capacity of the ex-agitators, it would have been difficult for us to achieve this great feat today.

“You can imagine a group of persons who have transformed from militancy to be electrical engineers. Obviously I’m very proud of it because it has been a success story. And my appreciation  goes to Mr. President who in his determination and commitment in stabilizing the Niger Delta region through human capacity development as well as infrastructural development.

“In this case is two in one; the ex-agitators, 23 of them have developed their human capacity in terms of skills acquisition in transformer maintenance and establishment. This has transformed these persons to who they were to the present as well as the refurbishment of transformer which will now supply power to the environment where it is deployed.

Asked how how realistic is the projection that the programme will end next year, Boroh explained that the exit strategy of the presidential amnesty programme has the connotation of adequate requirements to ensure continuity, adding that the  president has bought into the development of the region through sustaining the programme.

According to him, this is linked to President Buhari’s promises during the campaigns when he said he was committed to ensuring the Niger Delta is stable during his administration and this came to manifestation  during the flag off on the Ogoni clean up.

Boroh said, “He (Buhari) also ensured that in this year’s budget the rail line running from Lagos to Calabar was included in the budget. All these will create  room for job creation and infrastructural development of the region. Only two days ago (Wednesday), he set up an executive committee on stoppage of gas flaring in the Niger Delta. This will translate to high level of job creation and infrastructural development of the region.

“The president also ensured that the pilot trainees in Jordan completed their Programme and ensured the development of human capacity development of the ex-agitators in agriculture which will ensure job, wealth creation as well as food security. The amnesty office has been mandated to use the bio-resource center in Odi, Oyo, Cross River, all these are to demonstration Mr. President’s interest to revamp the region.


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