Nigeria’s main opposition parties, Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN and Congress for Progressive Change, CPC have condemned the recognition given to Governor Jonath Jang’s faction of Nigeria Governors’ Forum by President Goodluck Jonathan.CPC said the president’s endorsement of Jang’s faction is shameful.
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) said it is a travesty of democracy for President Goodluck Jonathan to recognise Gov. Jonah Jang of Plateau State as the ‘Chair’ of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), even though Jang lost to Gov. Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State in what has been widely acknowledged as a free, fair and transparent NGF poll
In a statement issued in Osogbo on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the President’s ill-advised decision has shown that he has little or no respect for democracy, and will stop at nothing to jettison time-tested ideals on the altar of political opportunism.
It said the recognition of the losing candidate for the Chairmanship of the NGF has also shown that the President’s spokesmen either do not know the thinking of their principal or have chosen to engage in downright lies in his defence.
”President Jonathan is frittering away whatever is left of his credibility by the day. His spokesman said in a statement the day after the NGF election that ‘the President has always shown a willingness to work harmoniously with any leadership freely and independently chosen by the Governors Forum for the collective progress and development of all sections
of the country and will continue to do so.
”’President Jonathan trusts that as true democrats and respected national political leaders, members of the Governors Forum will quickly resolve the issues and differences amongst them which emerged yesterday (May 24th) and continue to contribute effectively to national development as a strong, and progressive body’.
”But it is now clear that the presidency’s statement is not worth the paper on which it is written, that in the Nigerian presidency, words do not carry their exact meanings and that the spokesmen for the President speak for no one but themselves. When viewed in the context of similar deceitful statements by the presidency in the past, especially on the health of the
First Lady, one can see a growing pattern of a lying presidency, a presidency that likes to hide
behind one finger. This is sad, because without credibility, a President cannot govern successfully,” ACN said.
The party said the President, who should be looked up to as the father of all, has become the father of a few renegades, and descended from being the President of Nigeria to the President of the PDP and and now the President of a faction of the PDP.
”This President is daily cementing his unenviable reputation as the most divisive President in the history of Nigeria. By raising partisan politics to a pedestal higher than national interest, he has divided the country along religious, ethnic and political lines more than any of his
”In the process he has destroyed or about to destroy national institutions and organisations. First, he succumbed to the pressure from his party todeal with the judiciary for daring to reverse the outcome of some of PDP’s rigged polls. But for a courageous Chief Justice of Nigeria who cannot be teleguided now in the saddle, the judiciary will have been emasculated altogether
”Then the President all but put an end to the fight against corruption, which is widely acknowledged as a canker worm that is fast destroying the fabric of our society, and now he has destroyed the NGF.This is not an enviable legacy for any President,” it said.
CPC in a statement by its spokesman , Rotimi Fashakin said “The deception did not travel for too long. President Good-luck Jonathan’s endorsement of Governor Jonah Jang as the ‘elected’ Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has finally removed the wind off the sail of the rigmarole and denials as regards the source of the contrived crisis in the NGF. It would be recalled that on Friday, 24th May, 2013, thirty-five out the Nation’s thirty-six governors voted in an election to election a new chairman for a two-year tenure. The incumbent Chairman, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State sought a re-election. The President, Dr Good-luck Jonathan, did not believe that the Rivers Governor’s re-election would be helpful for his own re-election bid in 2015. He plotted, using the Platform of his Party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP, to truncate Mr. Amaechi’s ambition. At first, a new platform for PDP governors was birthed, with a fierce Jonathan-loyalist in charge!
CPC recalled that “The earlier date set for the election was put off to enable the anti-Amaechi coalition, under the aegis of the PDP governors’ group, to gain some momentum for the task ahead. The high-wire intrigues deployed by the PDP high command belied the determination of the President to use the election as the litmus-test for his readiness to capture the country in 2015. As a way of getting firm assurance of victory, endorsement of his preferred candidate, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau state, was purportedly assented by nineteen PDP Governors before the election. The election, which was recorded, revealed 19-16 majority victory for Governor Amaechi. The anti-Amaechi group made known its rejection of the election on the premise that a pre-election endorsement of their candidate, Governor Jang, had showed victory. For any dispassionate and discerning observer, this puerile predication of the anti-Amaechi group’s dissent is laughable and utterly ludicrous. The question asked is, can a pre-election endorsement be the same as the actual votes cast in an election? The logic of this group’s dissent stretches credulity beyond tolerable elastic limit!
“Though initially flummoxed by Mr. Amaechi’s victory, the PDP national leadership believed that travelling on the road of perfidy would really fit its demagogic, larger-than-life image as the ruling party, hence the President’s endorsement of Mr. Jang as elected. This anti-democratic stance should not surprise anyone familiar with PDP’s brand of democracy. The split in the NGF was the impetus needed by the leaders of PDP to unveil the plan for ensuring distortion of the Nation’s electoral process hereafter.
Fashakin said “As a Party, we are appalled by the President’s abandonment of the ship of state to cause needless overheating of the polity. The NGF, as it stands, remains a voluntary platform among Nigeria’s governors, with no constitutional function. How the election of the chairman of the NGF captured the animated interest of the President, despite the seeming myriad of issues besetting the Nation State, is still puzzling. This, of course, is another attestation of the President’s besmirched reputation for wrong priorities. Undoubtedly, the President’s conduct in the just concluded Governor’s election is a pointer to the immense electoral incongruities being planned for the 2015 elections. Unfortunately, all the President’s men and women have sworn to obsequious subservience which explains why he is egged on to continue with the capricious politics that is only geared towards exacerbating the overheated Nigerian polity. We hereby call on the International community to take greater interest in Nigeria’s democracy which, with the President’s brand of deleterious politics, is in danger of peril. We call on the Nigerian people to remain resolute in defending the cause of democracy because eternal vigilance is the price for liberty!