The president’s man says that Jonathan will not descend so low as to get involved in or mastermind such an act.
The Special Assistant to the President on Public Media, Doyin Okupe, on Monday said that President Goodluck Jonathan has nothing to do with the grounding of River State’s Governor, Rotimi Amaechi’s aircraft.
In a statement signed by his Director of Media, Bamidele Salam, Mr. Okupe said that as a statesman, the president, who is focused on his administration’s transformation agenda, would not descend so low as to get involved in or mastermind such an act; calling it “baseless insinuations and conjectures by mischief makers.”
The grounding of Mr. Amaechi’s aircraft by National Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has been linked to a rift between the president and the governor. Mr. Amaechi had publicly criticised policies of the federal government including the fraudulent petrol subsidy payments. He is also said to be opposed to Mr. Jonathan’s re-election plan.
Mr. Okupe was asked, “What is the problem between President Jonathan and Governor Amaechi of Rivers?” He replied, “It is politics. The answer is politics. I can tell politics is at play.”
The presidency also denied making any comments in relation to the grounding of the aircraft, saying “The report which was published on Nairaland an online blog is false, malicious, misleading and baseless.”
At a press conference in Lagos on Saturday, the Acting Director General of the NCAA, Benedict Adeyinka, announced the suspension of the plane, a bombardier BD700, Global Express with registration number N565 RS, from Nigeria’s airspace; saying its approved clearance certificate had expired since April 2.