Reno Omokri has described as a “tissue of lies” a book written by former minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, on the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Abdullahi, meanwhile, has said that he did not write his book for “aides” and “ball boys” and would not dignify Omokri with a response.
The book, ‘On a Platter of Gold: How Jonathan Won and Lost Nigeria’, will go on sale nationwide from November 30, 2017, after the launch.
In one of the excerpts run so far, Abdullahi recounted how Jonathan presided over a meeting of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains and asked the party to reject President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory despite having called to congratulate the APC candidate while the official results were yet to be announced.
The concession was unprecedented in Nigeria’s history and Jonathan received commendation for the gesture.
Omokri, in a statement issued on Thursday, disputed Abdullahi’s narration of the sequence and dates of events on the said meeting.
“Two months ago when I got details of the contents of the book by the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressive Congress, Bolaji Abdullahi, I described him as a liar and his book as a tissue of lies meant to defame former President Jonathan as the 2019 elections draw near and the yearning for a return to the years when the Peoples Democratic Party governed Nigeria reaches fever pitch,” wrote Omokri, who served as a social media aide to Jonathan.
“Now that the book is out, I can prove those claims and challenge Mr. Abdullahi to sue me in court for libel or defamation if I have lied.
“In the book, Mr. Abdullahi revealed that this meeting held ‘four days’ after the election on a Tuesday evening.
‘TRAVELLED TO THE FUTURE’
“Nigerians would remember that the 2015 Presidential elections held on March 28, 2015. It would further be recalled that former President Jonathan called then candidate Buhari to concede the election at precisely 5: 15 PM on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. This timeline was also verified by the camp of the then candidate Buhari in a statement to the BBC’s Mansur Ali.
“If, as Mr. Abdullahi claims, former President Jonathan called the so called meeting to renege on his concession on Tuesday the 31st of March, 2015, it would mean that Jonathan called the meeting only 45 minutes after he conceded. Because he conceded at 5.15 PM on March 31st 2015 and Mr. Abdullahi claimed the meeting held at 6 PM of March 31st 2015.
“How would it have been possible to call each participant and summon governors, Senators, Representatives, members of the PDP BOT and ‘ALL members of PDP National Working Committee (NWC)’ who were at different parts of the country and have all of them gather at the State House in just 45 minutes?
“Mind you, former President Jonathan conceded while the results were still being counted and long before they were even announced. It was not even public knowledge that President Jonathan had conceded.”
He also disputed the date the said meeting was held, saying it was impossible except the participants “travelled to the future”.
ABDULLAHI: OMOKRI TOO JUNIOR TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED
Asked by TheCable to respond to Omokri’s comments, Abdullahi said: “I did not write my book for aides and I will not dignify Mr. Omokri with a response. The fact is that he was too junior to understand the intrigues that were going on, so it is not in his place to deny what he knew nothing about.
“In my book, I mentioned real names of real people who attended the meeting. They are alive and well. Let those ones come out and dispute my account of what transpired. Let them come out and say no such meeting was held and no such issues were discussed. Those are the people who can comment. I don’t have time for ball boys.”
In the book, Abdullahi wrote: “Present at the meeting were Vice President, Namadi Sambo; Senate President David Mark and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu; as well as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, who had also just contested and lost the governorship election in Imo State and was challenging the results.
“Others included: the People’s Democratic Party Board of Trustees Chairman, Tony Anenih; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim; Governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke; Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, and former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi. All members of PDP National Working Committee (NWC) were also present, led by the party chairman, Adamu Mu’azu. The meeting was chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan.”