A former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, on Tuesday denied reports that he accused President Jonathan of being the sponsor of Boko Haram.
Mr. Maku, who addressed journalists in Abuja, said the reports were false and an attempt to discredit Mr. Jonathan by using his ardent supporters to make the falsehood look believable.
He said his campaign organisation had long refuted the publication.
He added that he had to address the press as the issue was still being mischievously peddled by some media platforms.
“As you are all aware, we are in the heat of politicking for the election of the next president and there has been a desperate attempt by the enemies of the president to slander him,” he said. “Two weeks ago, I saw an image in the media, purportedly quoting me to have accused President Jonathan of being the sponsor of Boko Haram.”
Mr. Maku expressed regret that despite the denial by of his campaign organisation, some media platforms still went ahead to quote him as saying that he regretted working with President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. He said he remained an ardent supporter of Mr. Jonathan and his transformation agenda, and believed that the president is the best candidate.
“As a journalist, I find these reports very reprehensible, slanderous and completely unprofessional.
“What is going on is beyond mischief, it is absolute desperation by the enemies of the president to pull him down using my name.
“I therefore want to make it very clear here that at no time in my life have I ever associated the president with the sponsorship of terrorism; it is absolute fiction.
“This is designed by the opposition to quote one of the most ardent believers in President Jonathan as telling a story against him.
“I must say that I cannot come against a government I defended for four and half years; a government I believe in.
“I believe in President Jonathan; he is a misunderstood leader who has done so much for this country and is doing so much for the nation.
“Let me make it very clear that even under APGA, President Jonathan is still my presidential candidate and I am the one leading his campaign in Nasarawa State.
“I remain his loyalist, I remain his supporter, I believe in him, I believe in the great job he has done for Nigeria.
“I want the world to know that I believe in this government and whatever we have done together; I remain an adherent.”
Mr. Maku said it was commendable that the president had achieved so much during his time in office in spite the quantum of attacks and insurgency aimed at distracting him. He urged the opposition to desist from unwarranted attacks on Jonathan, saying that if they must, they should use their own names not the names of his supporters. The former minister called on owners of social media platforms to desist from publishing falsehood.
“I have issued statements through my campaign organisation to no avail, they continue to carry them.
“If they continue, then I will not hesitate to take further action against those who are spreading this fiction against the President,” he said.
Mr. Maku said that Jonathan’s re-election as Nigeria’s president was more important to him than his ambition to be governor of Nasarawa State.