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Jonathan: 'Don't blame me for Rivers political crisis'

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President Goodluck Jonathan: Nigeria will overcome adversaries

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, now on a state visit to China, tried to distance himself from the political charade in Rivers State Thursday, swearing that he did not instigate the crisis.

He also added that “he will never support any actions that negate his avowed commitment to the rule of law… will also never violate his oath of office to always defend the Nigerian Constitution.”

It was his reaction to the torrents of criticisms against him as the political charade in Rivers State unfolded with the purported sacking of the elected speaker, Otelemaba Amachree, by a minority group of five legislators, who enjoys the support of Nigeria’s First couple and the police commissioner in the state, Joseph Mbu.

President Goodluck Jonathan: I am innocent on Rivers crisis
President Goodluck Jonathan: I am innocent on Rivers crisis
In the statement issued by his special adviser, Reuben Abati, Jonathan described the events in Rivers as ‘untoward’ and urged those involved “in regrettable acts of political violence to show greater respect for the constitution and the rule of law.”

President Jonathan urged members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and “all other political gladiators in the state to put the interests of the state and the nation above their personal egos and ambitions that seem to have gotten in the way of their expected commitment to uphold the principles of democracy and good governance”.

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The President also called on all those “who were remotely or directly involved in heightening political tension in Rivers State to put an immediate end to their actions which are capable of plunging Rivers State into public disorder and strive to settle their political differences without further recourse to barbaric acts of violence.”

The statement strove to absolve the president from carrying any blame on the crisis.

“We are constrained to state once again that there is absolutely no factual basis for suggestions that some of the politicians involved in the current dispute are acting at the behest of the President.”

This denial will certainly prove difficult to stick as the main actor in the latest crisis that has led the House of Representatives take over the functions of the state Assembly, was Evans Bapakaye Bipi, whose wedding the president’s wife attended in Port Harcourt weeks ago.

Bipi was even quoted to have said he was fighting Governor Rotimi Amaechi for ‘insulting President Jonathan and his ‘mother’, Patience Jonathan.

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