The Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati on Friday, April 10, 2015 reacted to claims by the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed that the President on Thursday, April 9, 2015 visited Lagos State with a view to masterminding a plot to rig the Saturday, April 11, 2015 gubernatorial election in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the state, Jimi Agbaje.
Speaking via statement, Abati said it was wrong and disrespectful for Mohammed to make such claims given that President Jonathan contested the presidential election of Saturday, March 28, 2015, and conceeded defeat without attempting to rig the polls, an action that has earned him worldwide acclaim as a statesman.
Abati further advised Mohammed and the APC to leave President Jonathan alone, as the allegation was an attempt to smear his image, especially now that he has been vindicated as a true democrat.
He said: “Lai Mohammed is wrong to say that the President came to Lagos to rig the Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections scheduled for Saturday, April 11. He is of course lying as usual. And rude. President Jonathan visited Lagos. He arrived on Thursday and left on Friday. People visited him. So what? Anytime the President is in Lagos or any part of the country, a lot of people come to pay homage to him. Nothing unusual happened during his last visit to Lagos. Senator Musiliu Obanikoro’s visit to the President in Lagos is not something that anybody should use to play politics. Koro is a Minister of the Federal Republic. He came to see his boss.
“Mr. Jimi Agbaje is the Governorship candidate of the PDP in Lagos. I don’t see how his visit to the President, who is also the leader of his party, the PDP, should become an issue.
“Yes, Gani Adams also visited, but so did a lot of other people.
“The President did not hold meetings with INEC officials, he did not meet with the police, or polling officials or with anybody who is involved in organising elections. So to say that the President went to Lagos to supervise the rigging of Saturday’s election is most uncharitable and cruel.
“After the Presidential election, the President immediately congratulated Gen. Buhari and the whole world has commended him for saving Nigeria. President Jonathan’s sportsmanship, statesmanship and leadership saved this country at that critical moment. He has demonstrated his commitment to free and fair election, the rule of law and due process. He has shown that he is a man of character, honour and integrity. Nigerians generally are proud of him. He has left a worthy legacy and shown a great example. That, obviously, is the narrative that Lai Muhammed and his masters want to change, so they are now cooking up meaningless tales.
“Lai Muhammed should look for another target and leave the President alone. His fatuous tale does not make any sense. I repeat: we will like to advise that the APC should just leave the President alone. President Jonathan was a candidate in the presidential election; he did not rig the election. Why would he want to rig tomorrow’s elections?”