President Goodluck Jonathan today denied the allegation that he is involved in a clandestine move to deny the merger of several opposition political parties.
The response follows a story in the LEADERSHIP newspaper edition of today which claimed that Mr. Jonathan directed that the planned merger of some political parties should be frustrated and that some state governors have been put on 24 hour surveillance in that regard.
The presidential spokesman described the claim as false and mischievous, and that it runs against common sense in view of the presidents credentials as a “democrat” who has refused to interfere in the activities of other political parties and INEC.
While noting that the publication attributed its story to "presidential villa insiders", Okupe asserted that the President does not give unlawful directives and has nothing to fear about the proposed merger that will necessitate him planning anything against the business interest of opposition figures as claimed by the newspaper.
Okupe also frowned at the claim that the president was planning to raise the pump price of petroleum products when the same president has provided enough funds for fuel subsidy in the 2013 budget and recently stated unequivocally that he has no plans to increase fuel price or remove fuel subsidy.
He admonished journalists to avoid playing into the hands of “mischievous politicians” whose desire is to blackmail the president and score cheap political points at the expense of stability of the country.
At a press conference in Lagos on March 19, President Goodluck Jonathan indicated his readiness to raise gas prices again, but would first “discuss” with the public the easiest way to do so.
“We cannot continue to waste resources meant for a greater number of Nigerians to subsidize the affluent middle class, who are the main beneficiaries,” he said on that occasion.
In response, “OccupyNigeria” activists said they were ready to respond whenever Jonathan made such a move.
So far, Mr. Jonathan has failed to implement several reports dealing with corruption in the oil sector, and has maintained in office Petroleum Minister Diezani Allison-Madueke and other officials who have been repeatedly accused of corruption, self-enrichment and manipulation.