The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has decried the verbal attacks on Gen. Muhammadu Buhari by the presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for no other reason than his timely warning against election rigging in 2015.
In a statement issued in Osogbo, Osun State, yesterday by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the statement for which Gen. Buhari is now being mercilessly attacked was nothing but a warning against those who may be planning to rig the 2015 general elections, and hence should not have rankled anyone who believes in free, fair and transparent polls.
It said the viciousness of the seemingly coordinated attacks by the presidency and the PDP raises a lot of concern regarding their plans for the 2015 elections.
‘’We hold no brief for anyone. But it is true that if elections are rigged, as they have been so shamelessly and brazenly done by the PDP since 1999, naturally, people will react, and in doing so it is impossible for anyone to predict how far things can go.
This is what, in our opinion, Gen. Buhari warned against. If the presidency and the PDP have no intention to rig in 2015, why are they so worried about the consequences of such action?’’ ACN stated.
The party said Buhari’s warning was in order, considering that the 2011 general elections remain the most systematically rigged polls in Nigeria’s history, irrespective of the so-called endorsement by some visceral foreign election monitors.
‘’The 2011 elections also left Nigeria divided along ethnic and religious lines, more than at any other time in the history of Nigeria, hence no one should tell us about the polls being the best since Nigeria returned to civil rule, just because some self-acclaimed monitors said so!’’ ACN said.
It also expressed serious concern at the growing propensity of the presidency, in particular, to use intemperate language in its response to any statement it perceives to be critical of its principal.
‘’We have said it before and we will like to repeat it: any statement emanating from the presidency must be presidential through the use of civilised and elevating language, rather than beer parlour and unguarded phrases. This is because such statements are read all over the world, and provide a window into the minds of those overseeing the affairs of state.
‘’The voice of the presidential spokesman is the voice of his principal, the president. That is why his statements must be sober and guarded, in addition to reflecting deep introspection. The insults heaped on Gen. Buhari, a former head of state, for merely exercising his right to freedom of speech is totally unacceptable and run against the tenets of decorum and mature political discourse,’’ it said.
ACN said, however, that it is not surprised at the response of the PDP, since it is becoming increasingly clear to all that nothing good can come out of a party that has wasted all the opportunities that could have made Nigeria a proud member of the international community in the past 13 years.
Jonathan, not Buhari is a sectional leader – CPC
Similarly, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), has faulted insinuations by the PDP-led federal government that its presidential candidate in the last general election, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, is a sectional leader.
Reacting to a statement credited to presidential spokesman Reuben Abati, the CPC, in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP electronically in Lagos, stated that, rather, it’s the President Goodluck Jonathan-led government that has been foisting a clannish system of government on the country.
The statement signed by the party’s national publicity secretary, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, said the statement credited to its leader regarding the conduct of future polls was done altruistically.
General Buhari had stated, while receiving a delegation of the party from Niger State, warned of dire consequences for the ruling party if the 2015 general elections were rigged.
According to the CPC, the relevance of the Daura-born ex-general to the country has been firmly acknowledged by a broad spectrum of Nigerians, saying the current president has been doing much to feather the nest of his Ijaw-speaking people to the detriment of other Nigerians.
CPC said that the current government has continued to skew appointments, promotions and patronage in favour of people of Ijaw ethnic stock in the Federal Public sector, saying such actions “smacks of clannishness and ethnocentrism by the president’’.
“But what do we find with Dr Goodluck Jonathan? All the appointees as oil ministers in his two-year reign thus far as president of Nigeria have been Nigerians of Ijaw extraction like himself!”
CPC also cited the October 1, 2010 bomb blast as another way in which the president had demonstrated his bias in the ship of state.
“Without waiting for any preliminary report from the security agencies, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, as president, told a traumatised nation, ‘it is not MEND!’...and MEND impugned the president’s statement and admitted responsibility.”
To the party, the current government has been encouraging corruption and corruptive activities by siphoning of public funds under the guise of payments for subsidy on petroleum products.
“On corruption and sleazy tendency, the Jonathan administration transcends all others before it! Nigerians are still befuddled by the impeachable show of arbitrariness by the regime in expending N2.67 trillion on fuel subsidy instead of the appropriated N240 billion in the 2011 Appropriation Act.” The party stated.
FG warns against inciting comments
Meanwhile, the federal government yesterday implored politicians in the country to desist from making statements that were capable of inciting violence in the country, saying Nigerians were overwhelmed by the consequences of violence already.
Information minister Mr. Labaram Maku, who sounded the warning while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, was reacting to a question about the pronouncement made by former head of state General Buhari (rtd) in which he labelled the federal government as “the biggest Boko Haram”.
Maku also sought the cooperation of the media, just as he noted that, as fellow stakeholders in maintaining peace in the nation, it would be very good for the media itself to launch a campaign for peace in Nigerian politics or decorum for good governance and for everything that is done in our polity.
The minister said: “The difference between democracy and other forms of government is that democracy is civil. Democracy talks about the rule of law; it does not talk about violence. In no major nation of the world will politicians or parties urge people to go and fight in polling stations or defend their votes or threaten violence because democracy is civility.
“Where you have difficulties, the law provides for you to go to court to enforce your rights. More importantly, we are in politics to develop a country. Without peace and security, you cannot develop any country. Those of us who live in the northern parts of the country are seeing the consequences of violence; we are seeing the consequences of lack of peace in our community.
“At this time, it is not about the federal government, it is the responsibility of all Nigerians, particularly those that God has elevated to positions of responsibility in the polity. I believe if individual politicians make statements that you believe is volatile, then, it is important for the media to take them up and make them part of national discourse such that every politician will come to understand that the nation is greater than our ambitions; that the peace and security of Nigeria is the foundation upon which anybody can play politics and that the safety of every Nigerian is the reason why we seek leadership and therefore it is important to begin a national orientation to begin a campaign for peace in our land.”