News / Africa

Babangida Campaign Chief Accuses Nigerian President's Supporters of Threats

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
James Butty

A Nigerian media tycoon has said he stands by his allegation that supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan have threatened to kidnap his eldest son.

Raymond Dokpesi, who is director general of the presidential campaign for former Nigerian military leader Ibrahim Babangida, said he received several phone calls also threatening to attack his business if he did not step down from his post.

He said the alleged threats also involve the militant group Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, known as MEND.

Niger Delta Militants
Niger Delta Militants

“On [last] Tuesday, a group of leaders from the South-South who are frontline campaigners from President Goodluck Jonathan met and decided to expel me from a body which I am not a member of, which calls, or styles, itself as a South-South Leaders and Elders Forum. Less than 24 hours after that, MEND [Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta] decided to issue a claim declaring me persona non grata in the zone from which I come,” he said.

Dokpesi said, soon after the MEND statement, which he said included a threat, he began to receive telephone calls threatening his family.

“Now, after that [the MEND threat] came in, the members of my family, including my children, received various telephone calls threatening that my eldest son, Raymond Dokpesi, Jr. would be kidnapped on Monday if, by mid-day, I do not step down,” he said.

He said he was certain that some elements of the militant group were supporters of President Jonathan.

“I am stating unequivocally that some elements in MEND, or MEND by their release, have clearly shown that they are supporters of Jonathan,” Dokpesi said.

Dokpesi said he has alerted Nigerian police about the threat to kidnap his eldest son.

“I have reported it to the police; I’ve reported it to everybody. I’ve intensified my own personal security, and I pray that it does not happen,” he said.

Efforts to reach President Jonathan’s office on the allegations failed. But, a U.S.-based Nigerian Internet publication quotes a statement from the president’s spokesman, Ima Niboro, as denying the allegations.

He dismissed suggestions by some that he should stay out of politics as a media tycoon. On the contrary, Dokpesi said he has been a politician for most of his life.

“I have been a politician all my life. I sought to be president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I also had run for the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So, my antecedent as a politician has never been doubt. But, I should also add that I have stepped aside as chairman of the media group,” he said.

Dokpesi said he has written a letter to the National Broadcasting Commission notifying them of his temporary withdrawal as chairman.

Voters queue to cast their vote during the governorship election at Ekulobia district in Anambra State, Nigeria, 06 Feb 2010
Voters queue to cast their vote during the governorship election at Ekulobia district in Anambra State, Nigeria, 06 Feb 2010

President Jonathan has not formally said that he would stand as a candidate in next year’s election, although he has  told southern governors that he would.

Dokpesi said he had made it clear that it would be a bad idea if Mr. Jonathan were to stand as a candidate.

“Let me say that I had personally written and have met with President Jonathan on several occasions to tell him, and to state emphatically, that it may constitutionally right, but it is morally wrong, and it is against the constitution of the party, which he belongs to,” Dokpesi said.

He said, if Jonathan runs, it would violate the zoning understanding between the northern and southern members of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid