Abuja - The Presidency has dismissed the alleged endorsement of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, the APC candidate in the February 14 presidential election by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).
In a statement in Abuja on Thursday, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, described the reported endorsement as a poisoned chalice.
Abati advised Buhari not to "place stock on an endorsement from a convicted criminal and his group who harbour evil intentions against the unity and progress of their country".
He also said the attacks on President Goodluck Jonathan in the purported MEND's statement endorsing Buhari were mischievous, baseless and deliberately styled to denigrate the good works of the president.
The alleged MEND's endorsement came in a statement issued on Tuesday by its spokesperson, Gbomo Jomo, through an electronic mail.
"We have noted with amusement, the vituperations against Jonathan by the renegade faction of MEND headed by the convicted terrorist, Henry Okah, in a statement.
"The statement was issued to endorse the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.
Also read: MEND reiterates support for Buhari
We thank all people of Niger Delta, including the former militants whom MEND claims to represent and who have already disassociated themselves from the statement issued by the faceless Jomo Gbomo," he said.
According to him, the vituperations against Jonathan in the MEND statement endorsing Buhari are mischievous, baseless and deliberately styled to denigrate the good works of the president.
Abati said it was well known that the president played a significant role in ending the militancy and insurgency in the Niger Delta.
Under the Jonathan administration, he said, the destruction of oil facilities and incessant kidnapping and killing of expatriates in the Niger Delta waterways had become a thing of the past.
He said the attempt by Jomo Gbomo’s MEND to rewrite history by trying to tarnish Jonathan's personality ``for selfish, pecuniary and political gains’’ would fail.