FORMER President Goodluck Jonathan has described the the reference to his administration in a press statement issued by the Minister of information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on September 17 as an indication that the current administration was yet to exit propaganda mode two clear years after gaining power.
Jonathan, in a statement signed on his behalf by his former Special Assistant on New Media, Reno Omokri, on Tuesday, said that the insinuations that the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu preached peace and unity under Jonathan’s administration was a fallacy.
He said it was also wrong to claim that the opposition was sponsoring Kanu adding that such assertions were “clear indication that the present administration has not left propaganda mode for proper agenda mode two and a half year into their tenure.”
The statement further read: “If the government in which Lai Mohammed serves, knows which opposition members are sponsoring IPOB, then they should identify them, arrest them and then prosecute them.
“Ever since Lai Mohammed made his ill-advised statement, a principal member of the All Progressive Congress government and the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, has come out to say that the actions in the South East are troubling and some of it are unconstitutional. Is he also sponsoring IPOB too?
“It is our suspicion that Lai Mohammed is talking from history seeing as he criticized the Jonathan government for banning Boko Haram in a statement he released on June 10, 2013, even though the Jonathan government had gone through due process before proscribing that murderous sect. Perhaps Lai Mohammed thinks everybody is like him and those he represents.”
The former President commended the governors of the South East for cooperating with the military and in the process saving lives and property adding that their action was “a noble act that should not be ignored.”
The statement read: “However, we want to advise the Buhari administration, which has announced plans to extend the military show of force to the South south and the Southwest through Operation Crocodile Smile, to thread with caution.
“Nigeria is no longer under military rule. In a democracy, you separate the military from the police. The military is not meant to fight criminality within a nation because they are trained to fight a nation’s external enemies. It is the police that are trained to fight crime internally.
“When the military starts doing the job of the police and starts fighting or doing what they call a ‘show of force’, the effect will not be to reduce crime. The effect will be to intimidate people.
“Let me say again to Lai Mohammed, the time for propaganda is gone.
“The time for blaming Dr Goodluck Jonathan for all the unfulfilled promises of the APC government is over. Nigerians are no longer buying it.
“Rome may not have been built in a day, but from day one you could see evidence of builders building up Rome. But what have we seen in the last two and a half years of the Muhammadu Buhari administration?
“We see a government that from day one has been blaming instead of building.
“Finally, I seize this opportunity to remind Lai Mohammed that under the Jonathan administration the ministry of information had annual ministerial briefing where the media and civil society groups interrogated cabinet ministers on the activities of their departments.
“100 days briefing was given to Nigerians on the government’s vision and one year briefings was given to the nation on government activities. An elaborate midterm briefing was also given by that government to the country on the achievements of the administration.
“Lai Mohammed should think about these as information minister and should know that he is minister for information not minister for propaganda.”