But the state police command Monday immediately debunked the reports, stating that a group of youths mistook the former president’s motorcade for that of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva.
The command said the youths were arrested, but upon investigation, it ascertained that they had no evil intention.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Butswat Asinim, said that the persons who peddled the rumour were simply being mischievous.
Asinim explained that a group of hungry youths mistook a motorcade of the former president for one of the governorship candidates on a political rally ahead of the December 5 election.
He said the youths traditionally follow motorcades, possibly looking for alms, only to discover it belonged to Jonathan.
According to him, on realising it was Jonathan’s convoy, the youths who had followed him up to his residence in Yenagoa, withdrew and took to their heels, adding that security operatives ran after and arrested some of them.
“There was no attack on the former president. The youths mistook his convoy for a governorship candidate engaged in campaigns.
“But when they discovered on getting to the entrance of his house in Yenagoa that it was that of the president, they ran away. Some of them were arrested. They did not haul stones at the president’s convoy. They did not attack the convoy and no weapon was found on them,” the police spokesman said.
The arrested men – Emmanuel Nanyo, Tolene Easter, Walter Bala and Ben Beledanyo – were later released by the police.
Speaking to THISDAY in Kaiama, headquarters of Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area where the Sylva campaign organisation held a rally yesterday, the men denied that they had tried to attack the former president.
According to them, they were part of Sylva’s campaign train to the Yenagoa main market at Swali when they missed the convoy.
They said when they saw the former president’s motorcade, they assumed it was that of Sylva’s and followed it only to end up in the home of the former president.