Despite Ebola warning, Jonathan’s re-election rally to continue in Port Harcourt

FILE PHOTO: TAN's maiden rally in Awka mobilizing "Nigerians Demand..." for Goodluck Jonathan to declare for 2015 Presidency... Photo Credit: Tranformation Ambassador of Nigeria

Despite fears that an unknown number of people might have been infected by the deadly Ebola virus in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the Transformation Ambassador of Nigeria, TAN, a group campaigning for the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan, said it would go ahead with its planned rally in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Saturday.

Both the presidency and the health ministry have failed to stop the group despite warning that such large gatherings could aid the spread of the virus that has so far killed six people in Nigeria.

The group’s Director of Media, Udenta Udenta, who disclosed this on Friday, said the arrangement for a successful rally where the people of South-South zone would urge the president to run in the February 2015 presidential election, had been concluded.

“The rally will hold,” Mr. Udenta confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview Friday night. “The Ebola issue is being over-hyped. We have sanitised every location and there is no cause for alarm.”

The rally, which is billed to hold at the Liberation Stadium in Port Harcourt, is coming on the heels of the death of a medical doctor, Ikechukwu Enemuo who was infected by the virus as well as the isolation of over 100 others in the oil-rich state.

The Federal Government had said it would take measures to contain the disease in Rivers just as it did in others where the disease had been discovered.

“The Incidental Management Committee, IMC, has already deployed a very strong team to Port Harcourt to work with the health authorities of Rivers State,” the Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu had said.

“Just like the situation has been effectively been managed in Lagos and Enugu, the situation in Port Harcourt will also similarly be effectively managed and we have begun to do so.”

The minister appealed to all contacts under surveillance to abide by the advice given to them by the IMC.

TAN held similar rallies in Awka, Anambra State, in the South East zone (August 16) and Ibadan in Oyo State in the South West zone last Saturday.

At the Awka rally, TAN said it mustered 1.6 million signatures asking Mr. Jonathan to run in the February 14 presidential election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The group said it also collected 1.8 million signatures in the South West.

After the Port Harcourt rally, TAN plans to shift the rallies to the northern part of the country with Minna in North Central zone hosting the next one on September 13, Gombe, North East September 20 and Kano, North West September 27.

The grand finale of the rally holds at the Eagles Square, Abuja on September 30.

The insistence by the group to go ahead with the rally runs contrary to the directive by Mr. Jonathan on August 8 discouraging large gatherings to check the spread of the deadly virus imported into the country about a month ago by a Liberian-America, Patrick Sawyerr.

In a move aimed at controlling and containing the Ebola virus, the president had said, “Religious and political groups, spiritual healing centres, families, associations and other bodies should, in the meantime, discourage gatherings and activities that may unwittingly promote close contact with infected persons or place others at risk.”

Also, while briefing journalists at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting, the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku directed that the Osun Osogbo billed for August 20 as well as other major events in the country should be suspended to curtail the spread of the virus.

In deference to the directives, the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, was allowed to go ahead with its conference in Owerri, Imo State only after it convinced the government that it had put in place measures to curtail the spread of the Ebola virus.

However, TAN has repeatedly ignored the directives and the President has failed to stop the group.

Some civil and political activists had criticised the conduct of the rallies.

The APC had on Thursday asked Mr. Jonathan to halt the campaign.

“Mr. President, you said your ambition is not worth the life of any Nigeria. But the TAN rallies for your re-election are endangering the lives of thousands of Nigerians in these days of Ebola. Some things must simply transcend politics. This is one of them, Please stop the rallies now,” the party said in a statement by its spokesperson, Lai Mohammed.

Also, a group, Buhari Vanguard, on Friday asked the president to instruct TAN to suspend the Port Harcourt rally.

Buhari Vanguard, which is a group of loyalists of a national leader of APC, Muhammadu Buhari, said in a statement by its chairman, Jasper Azuatalam, that as the chief custodian of the laws of the country, it is ridiculous for the President to continue to be lawless, violating regulations he helped put in place.

It said, “You will recall that the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Education has closed down all schools till September 13 because of the Ebola virus. The Federal Government through The Ministry of Health has also warned all religious and political bodies against large public gathering, even in states where the Ebola virus has not been recorded. Churches and other public institutions have also suspended public gatherings.

“However, it has come to our notice that a pro-Jonathan political organization and mobilization group for the 2015 presidential election has scheduled a mass rally in Portharcourt the Rivers state capital for Saturday, the 30th of August, 2014. The rally being organized by Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria TAN is to hold at the Liberation Stadium by 10am. The rally will bring together people from all the states in the South South comprising Bayelsa, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Cross River and Rivers state to Portharcourt.

“We urge President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately instruct the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria TAN to suspend the scheduled rally until the Ebola Virus is successfully curtailed in Rivers state and other parts of Nigeria. Mr President is the chief custodian of the law in Nigeria and it will be ridiculous for the Chief custodian of the law to break the laws he has made without recourse.”


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  • redeem

    Few weeks after castigating the Federal Government for allegedly hiring a foreign Public Relations firm, the All progressive Congress, APC, has hired Burson-Marsteller, a London based Public Relations and Public Affairs for an annual fee of $1.2 Million, approximately N200 Million.

    Perception and narratives that its members are Boko Haram sympathizers, trail the APC, an appendage that may likely affect the APC’s electoral fortunes in 2015. One of the main focuses of the P.R firm would be to change the narrative using the media among others.

    Details of the contract papers obtained from United State Department of Justice shows that Burson-Marsteller will partner with Prime Policy Group based in the United States and will SUPPORT the APC to develop messaging documents, pursue meetings with the media in London and Washington DC.

    They will also pursue meetings with Political leaders and civil servants in London and Washington DC and develop briefing materials ahead of meetings.

    APC had recently hired AKPD, President Barack Obama’s political strategy group to help position the party ahead of the 2015 general elections.

    The APC has come under serious criticism for either not condemning the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents when they started or having members linked to the sect within its rank and file.

    Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, Senator Ali Ndume are knows SUPPORTERS of the Sect who are members of the APC. While Ndume is currently facing charges for allegedly sponsoring Boko Haram, Sheriff has not been charged.

    The documents DATED 12 May 2014, was signed by Delano Family Limited for the All Progressive Congress, APC.

    • Ola

      Ali Ndume is a senator who used BH to win elections on the platform of PDP. As for SAS-GAS, he has since ported to PDP with Buji Foi’s ghost and living BH members. There are also those army commanders and their chiefs who gave conflicting orders in battle all to the tactical advantage of BH. Surely Dr. Stephen Davis is not part of the PR firm or is he?

      • redeem

        THE JANJAWEEDS IN APC DON DON DEY PANIC AGAIN————-APC IS LIKE THE EBOLA VIRUS

        • Ola

          Please what is janjaweeds?

          • redeem

            Cold blooded jihadist vampires in boko haaram and APC–who have no pity for their victims——-slitting their throats to the joy of their Muslim brothers

      • Where are those ANOINTED of Lord (e.g., Adeboye)?

        I still don’t understand why Nigerians refuse to call on their men of God to start laying hands on Ebola patients.

        • redeem

          The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday said President Goodluck Jonathan has shown that he would sacrifice the lives of Nigerians in order to realise his ambition for re-election. The party was speaking of Saturday’s rally by pro-Jonathan group, Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, in Port Harcourt where CASES of Ebola Virus Disease had been confirmed. APC said Nigerians must hold the president responsible if Ebola spreads more than it has already done in the country, after he failed to stop the rally in his support in despite warnings from individuals and groups.–unquote–clear as day light that the above stories were sponsored by APC

    • Dr. Kay

      You are so funny that I just pity your rantings about APC and boko haram. It just show how your party and Dumbo are so pathetic that all the noise you can only make is unsubstantiated allegations ,cause if you are still not asleep , who is the ruling party? How come nobody in APC with links to boko haram hasn’t been apprehended or you guys no dey in charge of the nations security ? So go back to your pay masters and ask for more enveloped stuffed ego because this allegation is not holding water. Go and think of another line of accusation this one is so yesterday.

      • redeem

        Most of those in charge of security are Fulanis—-the fighters in boko haram are Fulani——dont u still get it–till now–Dasuki–NSA——Fulani Gusau Fulani—-DEFENCE————it has nothing to do with Jonathan——–that is why they can operate freely around the west afrcian sub–region—-why do u think the fulanis want ribadu in adamawa? O u do not till date understand that Nigeria is a tribal society?

        • Dr. Kay

          You must have woken up from a deep slumber or you don’t get it. Who put the Hausa Fulani you talking about there ? Is it not Dumbo? Who is the commander in chief ? Is it not Dumbo? Who will carry the blame if things getting bad in this administration ? Is it not Dumbo ? Are you awake now Mr. Redeem? Go and collect more cash the last one you collected has been used up on ogogoro and palmy.

          • redeem

            told u severally that there is nothing like Hausa/Fulani in Nigeria-that tag is political-show me the hausa governors in the North- Just one of them-

    • checkmate

      Where is Ali Modu Sharif now?

  • redeem

    1] Abuja is not for poor people – Nasir El-Rufai 2006.
    2] I only got N5bn contract from CBN governor – El-Rufai
    3] If I don’t allocate FCT lands to my friends will I allocate it to my enemies.” – Nasir el Rufai to the Senate Committee 2009.
    4] If your monthly salary is below N100 000, leave Abuja because u don’t deserve to be there”.- Mallam Nasir El-rufai, FCT Minister – Addressing low Income Nigerians living in Abuja in 2004.

    • Dr. Kay

      Redeem since your Dumbo came to power tell me is Abuja now for rich people, how many plots has the new FCT minister allocated to his enemy and point me somebody with a salary income below N100000 staying owning a house in Abuja . Hypocrites!

      • redeem

        El rufai like the American embassy said in one of the wikileak leaks———-set the stage-open for the rich to take control of abuja..——-long b4 Jonathan became president————————-that is why Obasanjo ati atiku sold houses built with the resources of the people of the niger delta- and meant for civil servants at give away prices——-via soludos monitization scheme–to deceive 9jas–the real idea was to ensure that he acquired 60% of the properties for himself-one day the Gwaris will rise up to claim what rightly belongs to them——-in abuja–just wait and see

    • checkmate

      What’s wrong with what he said? You didn’t make any point.

      • redeem

        why would i make any point in yr regional head–cause 80 of the properties in abuja are owned by yr tribes men

  • Thepeople

    I am sorry Premiun times because I have never used ungentlemanly language on your forum. But this ignorant, illerate, idiotic and arrogant approach to very vital national issues is what has consistently degraded the progress of Nigeria. Mr Udenta has exposed himself as an buffoon with an over inflated ego and delusion of his self importance simple because he is organising a rally in support of Goodluck Jonathan. How can he say they have sanitised the venue and therefore no cause for alarm? It is just laughable. Does he not read how Ebola is transmitted? Is this an attempt to deceive poor people or he just wants Nigerians to die due to his ignorance? Mr Udenta is a dangerous man, threat to pubic health and to national security. He should arrested and detained. Any President worthy of his office would immediatly stop this madness.

    • Scalywag

      My brother $20bn or N3.2tr is at stake here. The stakes are high. If that’s not enough sanitizer, I wonder what will be! So ‘let the EBOLA HYPE continue’

      • redeem

        Is that why tinubus APC depends on sharia reporters ati PT——-to reach out to the rural folks with their lies

    • charles

      Tell dem brother…..

    • Onike24

      Who will arrest him? It is really depressing.

    • We don’t know where those deceitful men of God are at this crucial hour.

      Why are Nigerians not calling for their ANOINTED of the Lord (e.g., Adeboye) to start laying hands on Ebola patients?

  • bassey

    Ebola is another lethal released on Nigerians by APC. It is latching on it now to attack d Fed Govt & PDP. What is really wrong with this desperate party. Has Nigerians in Phc say they don’t want d TAN rally?

  • BlackieUmukoro

    Laws are made for man, not man for laws. QED

    • Guttersense

      What’s the full meaning of QED?

      • BlackieUmukoro

        And so be it
        Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

        • Guttersense

          That is wrong. U must be some of these illiterates with smart phones who are paid to hover all over cyberspace and pollute it. Google the latin mathematical expression Q.E.D and educate yourself

          • BlackieUmukoro

            If you know, why did you ask. Mumu
            Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

          • Olutola

            You asked someone to google, that is too much for him, someone typed his comment for him, he only speaks pidgin English.

          • I wonder why Nigerians and West Africans are not calling for those deceitful men of God (e.g., Adeboye) to start laying hands on Ebola patients.

          • redeem

            WHY DANCE AROUND WHAT U KNOW

  • Ette

    This wicked PDP and GEJ wants to hold power by shedding of innocent blood through the Ebola virus they have brought to Nigeria. They allowed some wicked diplomat torun away from Lagos to PHC to distribute Ebola not knowing it would during this wicked rally funded by the people’s money they are stealing. God is on the throne and is showing them that no one can play God. Anyone who wants to die of Ebola should go for this wicked rally. GEJ and his cohorts think they can deceive Nigerians by throwing round money stolen to anyone in sight and God is showing them that He is God who respects no money or anybody. Rather than used Nigerian money to provide services like fixing the east west road, Onne road, providing houses, educating the youths, reviving the manufacturing sector to create jobs for the teeming youths etc, they are busy spending money in bribing people to tell all manner of lies. Nigerians cannot be deceived any longer. These wicked PDP and GEJ are not satisfied with the blood they are shedding through boko haram, cultism, sponsoring of community conflicts, kidnapping and snippers, they are now using Ebola infested rallies to kill more Nigerians. Why should a government be happy with the deaths of Nigerians. May God treat them the way they are treating Nigerians.

    • bassey

      To hell with ur bad wish APC comment

      • charles

        @bassey it’s u dats callous and need to grow up…from ur slumber…shameful!!

      • I still don’t understand why Nigerians refuse to call on their deceitful
        men of God (e.g., Adeboye) to start laying hands on Ebola patients.

    • redeem

      Few weeks after castigating the Federal Government for allegedly hiring a foreign Public Relations firm, the All progressive Congress, APC, has hired Burson-Marsteller, a London based Public Relations and Public Affairs for an annual fee of $1.2 Million, approximately N200 Million.

      Perception and narratives that its members are Boko Haram sympathizers, trail the APC, an appendage that may likely affect the APC’s electoral fortunes in 2015. One of the main focuses of the P.R firm would be to change the narrative using the media among others.

      Details of the contract papers obtained from United State Department of Justice shows that Burson-Marsteller will partner with Prime Policy Group based in the United States and will SUPPORT the APC to develop messaging documents, pursue meetings with the media in London and Washington DC.

      They will also pursue meetings with Political leaders and civil servants in London and Washington DC and develop briefing materials ahead of meetings.

      APC had recently hired AKPD, President Barack Obama’s political strategy group to help position the party ahead of the 2015 general elections.

      The APC has come under serious criticism for either not condemning the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents when they started or having members linked to the sect within its rank and file.

      Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, Senator Ali Ndume are knows SUPPORTERS of the Sect who are members of the APC. While Ndume is currently facing charges for allegedly sponsoring Boko Haram, Sheriff has not been charged.

      The documents DATED 12 May 2014, was signed by Delano Family Limited for the All Progressive Congress, APC.

      • checkmate

        Where is Ali Modu Sherif now?

        • redeem

          ihejirika nko

  • humm

    Please let them carry on their rally in PH. Perhaps Ebola can be used to wipe out those rats called politicians, afterall, they are responsible for all the economical crisis in Nigeria. Bunch of thieves that will sell their soul for money.

  • wode

    The biggest problem ever is the one done to the psyches of the masses. The Psyche is damaged. The Leaders lead with bad examples and the followers followed suit. It now becomes a much bigger problem correcting the problem. A very good example is corruption.

    Here is a government claiming to be making efforts at, and spending money to, curtailing the spread of the EVD that want the people to follow the laid down measures and it’s seen to be blatantly flouting rules it sets.

    Nigeria has a long way to go.

    • I quote your golden statement: “Nigeria has a long way to go.”

      I wonder why Nigerians are not calling for those deceitful men of God (e.g., Adeboye) to start laying hands on Ebola patients.

  • John green

    That’s the problem you get when you have a government who doesn’t care about it own people, who neglect warnings despite the fact that it enables people to have peace in the nation but he will surely ignore.. It shows that we don’t have government and it’s better we stick to the change now..

    • the truth

      Why didn’t premium times report this news when they poured out praise for rauf for organizing over a million supporters for a rally.the news then was how rauf was popular despite the fact that the health ministry confirmed 1 dead and 7 infected with Ebola.please tell me who are the alternatives to Jonathan? A buhari that truncated democracy by coup,an atiku or a tinubu? When was the last time you saw premium times publish any objective news.the pinnacle of good journalism is been fair and balanced not always stirring the pot to one sided journalism.anything Jonathan is wrong anything apc is good.the same old pdp war lords are now the saints in apc.the same people that kept us backwards switched to apc and are now progressives.if u pour a star lager beer into a ragolis bottle does that make that thing u poured a ragolis or still star lager beer.open your eyes

      • Scalywag

        Chief I sympathize with u. Chances are that you are not capable of rational thought. The kernel of the matter is this: There’s this deadly epidemic of a deadly and incurable disease called EBOLA which spreads by contact with sweat, urine and saliva from infected persons. As a result schools are to remain shut; mode of worship in churches have been significantly modified. Government has declared a public health emergency. The concern here is that the masses who may not care much about personal hygiene have to be protected from say, drinking pure water sold by people who are infected, urinating and neglecting to wash their hands, etc, etc because they are in a frenzy occasioned by a political campaign rally. The issue of choosing between Jonathan, Buhari and Tinubu and Lamido and Okorocha etc has not yet arisen. When it does its only living Nigerians that will choose. It will not be done by those that have been killed by ebola because the Udenta-Udentas of this country were angling for a share of #OUR$20bn

        • petersen

          u guys should still blame presidency for large gathering at churches and mosque.

          • change 2014-2015

            Where is our 20 billion. Dollars.

          • redeem

            its with dangote

  • Ol’boy

    JONATHAN IS NOT THE SOLUTION

    Goodluck Jonathan has nothing to show for his first term in office till now.
    In historical terms, the years 2010-2014 will be recorded as wasted years.
    Goodluck Jonathan continuously tenders excuses instead of competencies.
    When he does not invoke Boko Haram as alibi for his own serial blunders,
    his human megaphones help him cite petulant northerners as Jonathan’s bane.

    Without excuses, Goodluck Jonathan has wasted Nigeria’s time for all purposes.
    He’s neither reversed the country’s continuing free fall into chaos nor reformed Nigeria.
    Worse of all, he doesn’t reason the reasons for Nigeria’s economic stasis in a time-warp.
    Goodluck Jonathan is out and out ignorant on public policy and does not know what to do.
    With 50 million folks un-employed today, in effect, Goodluck Jonathan is not the solution.

    • redeem

      A LOT————————–AT LEAST NIGERIAN STUDENTS WHO ENDORSED HIM ARE NOT MAD————-HAPPILY BOKO HARAM HAS ENDORSED THE JANJAWEEDS IN APC

      • Kick ’em out

        They are INSANE like you.

        • redeem

          u will soon know if APC is NIGERIAN PARTY or a party for the Fulnis

      • Guttersense

        Which students endorsed who? Is it the polytechnics students who stayed at home for 1 year and were teargassed by police in Abuja together with their lecturers or the NCE students that suffered the same fate? Is it the over 1.5million university students that will graduate into unemployment under this clueless government? But if it is those that want a share of the $20bn, it may be so. In any case how many of them will get a piece of the money? Even the presidential scholarship for FIRST CLASS graduates, how many got it? It was only for a section of the country!

        • change 2014-2015

          Don’t mind them they turn those student to politics they ate now lying for us that the student endorse the gej

        • redeem

          do u know how long they stay at home under obj——-what about the ones in lagos state that forced the hand of fashola to reduce school fees

      • change 2014-2015

        Let wait and see he will surely be voted out of power come 2015.

    • Why are Nigerians refusing to call on their deceitful men of God (e.g., Adeboye) to start laying hands on Ebola patients?

    • change 2014-2015

      If gej is not the solution he should leave the seat of power.

  • Darlington Mudiaga Atumu

    While APC and boko haram are holding their rally up north….PDP is also holding its rally

    • Why are Nigerians not calling for their ANOINTED of the Lord (e.g., Adeboye) to start laying hands on Ebola patients?

    • change 2014-2015

      Pdp is a disgrace to this country

  • Obaro E

    Why didn’t you raise the Ebola Issue in the Osun Elections held few days ago in the entire state? aren’t elections one of such events attracting crowd? Didn’t people queue under the sun? Didn’t they sweat? abi una be provide air conditioners for ever queue? See una life? Bad belle unlimited.

    People left Lagos in numbers to go and vote or participate in the elections, at the time over 11 persons were positive with Ebola. Yet, you complained not. But now that the only confirmed case of Ebola in PH is dead, you say no rally bcos it involves Great Jona. Make una remember say, ‘There is God O!’

    This is why I want my Niger Delta Republic where sentiments as this will be eternally alien. Nonsense.

    God bless Port Harcourt

    God bless Niger Delta

    • concerned9ja

      Pipe dreamer!!!!

      • redeem

        WHY DO U SAY ITS A PIPE DREAM———–BECAUSE U ARE SCARED STIFF OF LEAVING WITHOUT THE OIL REVENUE FROM THE SS——–IT THE UMBILICAL CORD OF THE NATION—–THE NIGER DELTA–ELSE NIGER WILL COLLAPSE

    • redeem

      NIGERIA BIKO LET MY PEOPLE IN THE SOUTH SOUTH——————–GO

      • Nigerian

        Go Go Go IJAWS, Take your Dumbo please, Go, Go, Go!!!

    • I wonder why Nigerians and West Africans are not calling for those
      deceitful men of God (e.g., Adeboye) to start laying hands on Ebola
      patients.

  • concerned9ja

    Someone should bail me out please. Is it the same Udenta Udenta we knew at UI in the 90s? If yes, how low could life has come for him.

  • GbemigaO

    Well anyone that wants to die can go. They are not forcing anyone!

    • I still don’t understand why Nigerians refuse to call on their deceitful
      men of God (e.g., Adeboye) to start laying hands on Ebola patients.

    • oyewole

      Is not about anyone who want to die is all about spreading the diseases which could get to people wjo didn’t attend the rallies, Mr president this is very unfair as a leader you made the rule you break the rule,cheiiiii there is God ohhhb

  • Gbo_lee

    The height of insensitivity from Jonathan and his cohorts. This is unacceptable, are these rallies more important than the death of many lives? And some fools will foolishly say Jonathan should be praised for containing Ebola in the country. Very sad

  • tsunami1earthquake

    A situation where someone’s personal and selfish interest is made to override the interests of the majority! That’s very unfortunate. Does this president really care about the welfare of Nigerians? Why encourage this type of vanity right on the heels of the fact that Port Harcourt has got enrolled into a part of Nigeria with veritable case of Ebola with all the uncertainties associated with circumstances surrounding its incidence?

  • igbiki

    This Udenta Udenta of a chap, which Udenta is he. Is he the Udenta of Atiku, the one of Abacha, the Udenta of AD or the Udenta of Youths Ernestly Ask for Abacha (sorry Ebola)

  • Godfrey Etokebe

    APC should not EAT FOOD anymore because there is EBOLA in Nigeria. May be APC does not know that all the FOODSTUFFS in the market has been TOUCHED by someone else hands in Nigeria before being served on their tables?