Etukudu told Sunday Trust, “When Yar’adua left the shores of Nigeria and could not come back soon enough, people became afraid and doubtful. Some politicians seized the opportunity of his absence to help themselves to the detriment of the country and the people. This group of politicians did everything to exploit the absence of the president to create chaos in the country and even to create a situation of distrust between Mr. President and the Vice President, now the acting president.”
He continued, “I was greatly relieved when the National Assembly finally took the action to correct what could have been simply done, because it is obvious that in the absence of the president the vice president should sit in for him or act for him until he is back, but this simple situation was exploited by a section of the political class to turn the situation into something else. But thank God, the National Assembly got the vice president to act till the time the president can resume office, and I think the action has brought consolation to the peace loving people of Nigeria.”
He said that despite all the talk of crisis of confidence between Yar’adua and Jonathan, he believed the relationship between the two is cordial and Janathan has done nothing to undermine Yar’adua’s interests.
He emphasized, “I do not believe that Jonathan has taken any action that suggests that the relationship between him and the president is not cordial. The only action, I think, was a minor cabinet reshuffle where Aondoakaa was posted to the Ministry of Special Duties and I think it is absolutely normal. I doubt if the action can in any way affect the programme of the government.”
Similarly, Etuku asserted that the Federal Government’s amnesty programme is on course. He said, “The political situation has not affected the amnesty programme too badly. OMPALAN is pushing ahead because we believe that even in the absence of the substantive president who was prepared to work with OMPALAN, Goodluck Jonathan, the Acting president has promised to carry on with all that Mr. President has put in place. We believe in Goodluck Jonathan in the same way that we believed in Yar’adua.”
He said his association is working hard to act successfully as a mediator between the Federal Government and the youths of the Niger Delta. He explained, “Ours is to carry the militants along, to get them to believe in the Federal Government that all the promises will be kept. Ours is also to assist the Federal Government to monitor, to make sure those actions are being properly carried out.”
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