Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has debunked the suggestion that the party or any of its members would take part in the proposed Government of National Unity being dangled by the Peoples Democratic Party- controlled federal government.
Reacting to the news of a purported shift in position as published in a national daily yesterday, the party, in a statement from its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, described such suggestion as “sheer fallacy.”
The party maintained that its opposition was borne out of the fact that such arrangement are not necessary in peace time, just as it is capable of stifling the opposition in the country, stating that any of its members who joins the arrangement does so in his personal capacity and automatically ceases to be its member.
A prominent national daily had, in its Friday edition, quoted an unnamed source within the ACN as saying the party would partake in the arrangement and had indeed decided to join the GNU being planned by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The paper went ahead to state that the issue formed one of the main items in the agenda and was discussed at a recent parley the president had with leaders of some major opposition political parties recently.
Mohammed, on behalf of the ACN in the statement issued in Accra, Ghana, wrote, “We hereby state, for the umpteenth time, that we will not participate in any GNU. Reports that we have embraced the GNU and adopted a ‘guarded participation policy’ amount to sheer fallacy, and should be treated as such by all our members and supporters.”
The two-page statement wondered why it’s decision to honour the recent presidential invitation for inter-party dialogue could be misconstrued as making a u-turn on the issue, saying the move (attendance of the meeting) was done in good faith to respect the office of the president.
‘’Indeed, we were represented at that meeting by a powerful delegation led by our national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, simply because it will amount to sheer arrogance to shun a meeting convened by the president to discuss nothing more than the issue of Nigeria, in which we are all stakeholders,” he wrote.
The party further clarified its position on the issue, as well as the participation of its top leadership in the meeting thus: “When we received the letter of invitation, we immediately wrote back to the presidency, asking to be intimated with the agenda of the meeting.
“When no response was forthcoming, we went to the meeting with a letter in which we reiterated our decision not to participate in any GNU, for the simple reason that a unity government in peace time can only stifle democracy and facilitate the emergence of a one-party state, which will in turn breed unbridled corruption.”
Throwing more lights on what transpired at the meeting, he said the leadership of the ACN used the opportunity provided by the visit to clamour for issues relating to democratic reforms, fiscal federalism, improved security and the fight against corruption.
“We also used the meeting to reiterate these issues, as well as our decision not to be a party to any GNU. How this translates to making a u-turn beats our imagination,’’ ACN said.