The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of sabotaging his own Administration’s war against Boko Haram on the altar of personal vindictiveness and political desperation, an action that is unbecoming of a self-respecting national leader.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said just because he was so desperate to oust Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal as the Speaker of House of Representatives, President Jonathan ensured that the House could not meet as scheduled on Thursday to consider his request for an extension of the State of Emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.
”For a President who has severally stated his Administration’s commitment to the battle against the insurgency in the North-east, is it not a cruel irony that he allowed his personal ego and political desperation to override his sense of propriety, by moving to have Rt. Hon. Tambuwal removed instead of having the House of Representatives sit to consider his request?
”Does anyone need any more evidence that the President’s sole preoccupation is how to win the 2015 elections, rather than the fate of the hundreds of Nigerians who are daily being killed and maimed at the epicentre of the insurgency? Had he been genuinely committed to the fight against the insurgents, would the President not have allowed the House to sit to consider his request? How does he feel now that the entire National Assembly has been shut down because of his capricious action?” it queried.
APC said because of his meddlesomeness in the affairs of another arm of government, and also his blatant disregard for a court order that the status quo be maintained on the issue of the defection of the Speaker to the APC, the President on Thursday suffered a moral and political defeat that will hunt him for a long time to come.
”The plot was simple: The Presidency decided to use the reconvening of the House as an opportunity to remove the Speaker. While Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha was accorded a presidential ride into the premises of the National Assembly, House Speaker Tambuwal was barred from entry by the hordes of security agents who have been deployed solely for that purpose.
”Their plan was to ensure that, with Tambuwal locked out, Ihedioha would preside over the reconvened House and the Speaker will then be removed. The consideration of the request to extend the State of Emergency was not important to the Presidency. The fate of the Nigerians who are suffering from the insurgency, which has displaced 1.5 million people, does not bother the Presidency. All it wanted is to remove Tambuwal.
”However, the plan failed as members of the House overpowered the security personnel were overpowered by and the Speaker was led on foot into the Chambers, even as a rain of tear gas fell on them. In the end, the President himself sabotaged his Administration’s tepid war on terror, and he got himself a birthday gift he didn’t bargain for: A humiliating political defeat that played out on national television. This is a clear reminder that there is always a limit to impunity!,” the party said.
APC said because it is clear that history is not a forte of this presidency, it (presidency) needs to be reminded that the kind of crisis it is willfully instigating in the National Assembly helped to truncate the First Republic in the early 1960s.
The party said the crisis instigated by the Jonathan Administration at the National Assembly on Thursday showed the prescience of the ”APC’s Salvation Rally” in Abuja a day earlier to protest the runaway impunity, corruption, poor governance, anti-democratic tendencies and win-elections-at-all-costs disposition of the Administration.
”We have said it before and we will restate it: It’s Jonathan first, Jonathan second, Jonathan third, Jonathan always for this President. If not, while will he be more interested in playing politics with the lives and blood of our sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters who are suffering untold hardships in the hands of Boko Haram, especially in the North-east?
”Because of his ambition to be re-elected at all costs, President Jonathan is ready to throw Nigeria into crisis. He is ready to bring Nigeria down. He has presided over an unprecedented assault on democratic institutions. He has presided over the desecration of national institutions, especially the police.
”Is it right for the police to be trampling on the constitution? Is it right for the Inspector-General of Police, apparently acting under orders from the President, to deploy the police to prevent the Speaker from entering the House? Why on earth would you not allow the Speaker of the House, who is still seen as such by the law, to enter the House? What would have happened if the Speaker had refused to reconvene the House? Wouldn’t Nigerians have said he is putting his personal interest above national interest?” it queried.
APC said surely, Nigeria is in clear and present danger from the inordinate ambition of President Jonathan to run for a second term, and called on all men and women of goodwill to speak out before a desperate President brings the country down on all Nigerians.