The Presidency has said it was ludicrous of a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, to have condemned the call of President Goodluck Jonathan on the American and British governments to help Nigeria stop oil theft.
Jonathan’s Senior Special Adviser on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, who spoke at the weekend on Liberty Radio, Kaduna, said: “What government had done was to check oil thieves at our end and if they escape cautionary measures in the country and if the US and Britain don’t buy from them, they will stop.”
The Presidency also described the new alliance of the opposition political parties under the aegis of All Progressives Congress as “mega nonsense, which cannot go anywhere”.
Okupe said: “The President did not just wake up one day and say Britain and America should help us.
“It was just one of the various internal steps that were taken.
“There were funds given to the Navy to acquire boats and they are already producing results.
“It is just like smuggling.
“You make a law, you empower the Customs to impound goods at the point of entry and also ban sale of such products in the stores.
“So, what government has done is it to stop this oil theft at our end and if they escape checks and balances that we put in place, if those people don’t buy from them, then they will stop.
“So, why is el-Rufai pretending to be stupid?
“I just told you.
“It is right that you guys gave a platform to el-Rufai.
“He is a free man.
“He is a citizen of Nigeria.
“But he is not a man that is worthy of any serious comment.
“He just says whatever he likes.
“It is a pity that you have chosen me to respond to Malam el-Rufai’s statements.
“El-Rufai is a name that is disgraceful in my mouth, but I will try to respond.
“El-Rufai is a liar, who went to the extent of writing a book that is full of lies, similes, things that are untrue, half truth.
“He will now quote three pages of discussions with people when he did not record them and these are things that happened six to seven years ago.
“So when I say he is a liar, I mean it.”
On the emergence of the new opposition party, the presidential spokesman: “Members of the APC are united and have been brought together not because they want to help Nigeria in any form.
“They have come together because they just want power for personal aggrandizement.”