Just weeks before the presidential elections in Nigeria, a 24 year-old man, Ibime Belema-Jonathan, has announced that he is the illegitimate son of incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.
This revelation emerged at the weekend from an online blogger, Chukwudi Iwuchukwu, saying Belema-Jonathan, who claims to be a native of Nembe, Baylesa State, had made the announcement on his Twitter handle.
The report from the blogger said: “According to Belema-Jonathan, his mother was a receptionist in a Port Harcourt hotel (which shall remain undisclosed) when she met Goodluck nearly 25 years ago.
“Their relationship was made private because of the risks it posed to Goodluck’s then fledgling political career.”
The blogger added that Belema-Jonathan stated that, “He has decided to disclose this information after recently being informed by his mother, who had just passed away.
It is his desire for his father to assume and fulfil his fatherly duties after a lifetime of absence”, that led to the revelation.
Iwuchukwu, who claims the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, as his address, concluded by admitting that, “we are in a season of political campaign and anything can come up, but the resemblance is striking.”
However, Dr Reuben Abati, the Special Adviser to President Jonathan on media, has denied the claim, saying that the President does not have any illegitimate sons by whatever name.
According to Abati, the report is cheap propaganda from the opposition party.
The Special Adviser added that the timing of the report, coming in the heat of the election campaign, shows the desperation of some people.
He said: “It is good for them to know that propaganda and cheap blackmails do not win elections.
“Nigerians know who they want and who they will vote for. Churning out such blackmail story will not win the election.
“This is also coming at a time that the opposition parties signed the Abuja Accord meant to ensure that election campaigns are issue-based and do not degenerate into blackmail.”