Following recent allegation by former FCT Minister, Malam Nasir El-Rufai that President Jonathan knows oil thieves, the Presidency has taken a swipe at the interim Deputy National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), calling him a liar.
The Presidency said it was stupid of El-Rufai to condemn the President’s call on the American and British governments to help Nigeria stop oil theft, adding that “what government had done was to check oil thieves at our end and if they escape cautionary measures in the country and if the US and Britain don’t buy from them, they will stop.”
The Presidency also described the new alliance of the opposition political parties under the aegis of the APC as “mega nonsense, which cannot go anywhere”.
Reacting on behalf of President Jonathan on Liberty Radio, Kaduna Guest of the Week programme yesterday, the Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe said, “the President did not just wake up one day and say Britain and America should help us. It was just one of the various internal steps that were taken. There were funds given to the Navy to acquire boats, and they are already producing results. It is just like smuggling, you make a law, you empower the Customs to impound goods at the point of entry, and also ban sale of such products in the stores.
“So, what government has done is it to stop this oil theft at our end and if they escape checks and balances that we put in place, if those people don’t buy from them, then, they will stop. So, why is El-Rufai pretending to be stupid?
“I just told you, it is right that you guys gave a platform to El-Rufai, he is a free man, he is a citizen of Nigeria, but he is not a man that is worthy of any serious comment. He just says whatever he likes.
“It is a pity that you have chosen me to respond to Malam El-Rufai’s statements. El-Rufai is a name that is disgraceful in my mouth, but I will try to respond. El-Rufai is a liar, who went to the extent of writing a book that is full of lies, similes, things that are untrue, half truth, he will now quote three pages of discussions with people when he did not record them, and these are things that happened six to seven years ago, so, when I say he is a liar, I mean it,” Okupe stressed.
On the emergence of the new opposition party, the Presidential Spokesman said All Progressive Congress (APC) was not a mega party, but a ‘mega nonsense’, which would collapse very soon.
Okupe said, “Members of APC are united and have been brought together not because they want to help Nigeria in any form. They have come together because they just want power for personal aggrandizement.”