Yesterday, Spaces for Change published an article, VENTING ABOUT THE BAYELSA CRASH authored by Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri. Hours later, the Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on New Media, Mr. Reno Omokri issued a rejoinder. We are happy to present his response to our readers for a balanced perspective. Kindly read and draw your own conclusions.
The Special Assistant on New Media to President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri has condemned the attacks on Senior Presidential aide Oronto Douglas in relation to the ill fated crash that took the life of two prominent Nigerians on Saturday.
Governor of Kaduna State Patrick Yakowa and former National Security adviser General Andrew Azazi Rtd lost their lives alongside 4 other passengers in the helicopter which crashed in Okoroba, Nember, Bayelsa State while they returned from the funeral ceremony of Oronto Douglas’ father.
Several commentators via the social media have expressed opinions as to why a “public property- a naval aircraft-belonging to the Nigerian Navy could be used for private purposes by an aide to the president”.
Mr. Omokri stated Tuesday via his Twitter handle, “In our rush to judgment many have made false claims without considering that the victims of their poisoned pen were those in mourning”.
“The mourner DID NOT commandeer any military plane. He and his family and friends paid for boats and private helicopters to ferry guests” he added.
He also noted that one of the invited guests was a retired General, referring to the late General Azazi, saying that “If critics had investigated they would have found out that a 5 star general, though retired, is accorded the office of a general for life. He is given the treatment of a general everywhere he goes, including use of military vehicles.”
A columnist and social crusader writing on the Space for Change Platform Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, made references to the Navy helicopter pilot and aides; officers who met their untimely death because they were signed up to offer personal services.
The Presidential assistant accused those behind the allegations of “making inaccurate assumptions that have hurt the families of the departed” describing it as “uncharitable” and “inhumane” to accuse a “mourner who has suffered additional loss of something he is innocent”.