PRESIDENCY, APC face-off

Presidency, APC in war of words

DOYIN AND LAI MOHAMMEDThe Presidency on Sunday blasted APC leaders saying that they were not only unprogressive but also describing them as “politically expired” politicians. However, the APC reacted swiftly, saying Nigerians knew very well that most of the PDP leaders were septuagenarians and octogenarians.

APC national leaders – Chief Bisi Akande is 74 years, Maj.-Gen. Muhamadu Buhari,70; Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, 61 and Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, 61. The PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, is 76; Board of Trustees Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, is 80 and Chairman, Disciplinary Committee, Umaru Dikko, is 77.

But the Presidency, through the Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said with the “politically expired” leaders in the APC, there was no way it would be a threat to the PDP.

It added in a statement in Abuja, that it would be foolhardy for anyone to think that the APC would be an alternative to the PDP.

“This fact is further reinforced by the fact that even its (APC) leadership parades politically expired, analogue and yesterday men, including the likes of Akande, Ikimi, Bello Masari, Buhari, Ogbeh, Bashir Tofa and their likes, who do not promise any hope for today’s Nigeria and therefore cannot bring any meaningful change to the polity,” the Presidency added.

Insisting that the membership of the APC was not progressive, it claimed that the ideology of the party was not also impressive.

It said the only common thing that bound them was the desire to seize power from the PDP.

The Presidency claimed that President Goodluck Jonathan was being persecuted because he was from a minority tribe.

“The membership and composition of the APC is nothing progressive. They are ideologically ill defined and seem to have come together for only one purpose which is to grab power from the PDP and united on one sentiment which is their peculiar hatred for the person of President Jonathan. Is there an offence in being a President from a minority tribe?,” it stated.

The Presidency said that those who joined the APC did so because of their hatred for the President, which it said started since he won the election in 2011.

The Presidency said, “Those who cooperate with them from the North are not true mainstream northern politicians but rather anarchists and irredentists who pursue political power based purely on ethnic sentiments.

“From the first day of the Jonathan Presidency, these people have tried all methods to suffocate his administration and make it impossible for him to govern. Immediately the President was inaugurated, he was made to contend with a major post-election violence unprecedented in the annals of our political history.

“This paved the way for the escalation of the Boko Haram insurgency to the level that was totally and absolutely unimaginable; reducing previous episodes like the Maitatsine riots and similar previous sectarian violence in the North to a child’s play.

“It is to the glory of God, tenacity of purpose and ingenious administrative capacity of President Jonathan that in spite of these overwhelming and daunting security crisis, his administration still records a most distinguished performance in terms of delivering dividends of democracy ever recorded in the annals of the history of Nigeria.

“Isn’t it surprising too that since their coming together, Nigerians have yet to know what the APC stands for in terms of definite agenda? What do they have that is better than the PDP?

“They have no official manifestoes; rather what we hear from one leader is a sharp contradiction from what we hear from another.”

For example, it said Buhari,who is the leading figure of the APC in the North, delivered a lecture in London in which he alleged that he spoke against restructuring of the Nigerian federation, resource control, sovereign national conference and other core demands of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria.

The Presidency added that Tinubu went to a similar event more recently and listed out APC’s proposed programmes on power, agriculture, and rail transportation which were not in any way different from the contents of the Transformation Agenda of the PDP.

It said in spite of the long years of existence of the three political parties(ACN, Congress for Progressive Change and All Nigeria Peoples Party) that merged into the APC,they were unable to find credible personalities among their followers for national positions and offices.

“The ACN particularly is reputed to always outsource its presidential candidate to the PDP. It is not surprising therefore that in the new party’s national executive, six of its 11 members, which is about 60 per cent are former chieftains of the PDP,” it added.

Because of this, the Presidency said Nigerians would want to know whether the APC was different from the PDP or that it should be regarded “as PDP 2.”

Faulting the description of the APC as consisting of old and expired leaders, the Interim spokesman for the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, wondered if those leading the PDP could be categorised as young men when all of them were in their 70s and 80s.

He added that Nigerians would determine the fate of APC and the PDP in 2015.

The APC interim spokesman added, “What Okupe is saying is that the National Chairman of the PDP is a young man.

“He is saying that the chairman of its Board of Trustees is also a young man. This is a party whose national youth leader is about 70 years. Nigerians are not fools. At the appropriate time, they would decide what they want.”

Meanwhile, political leaders, including governors in the North-West, are divided over whether to join the APC or not.

Our correspondent gathered that the leaders and their followers were not happy with Jonathan and were therefore determined to ensure his ouster in 2015.

For example, some northern governors, especially those in the North-West, have been meeting political leaders and former rulers, complaining about Jonathan’s style of leadership and the running of the PDP.

The governors are Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko(Sokoto), Babangida Aliyu (Niger) and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa).

They also complained about the crisis in Rivers State, which they were said to have alleged was caused by the Presidency.

It was gathered that while Nyako had been fraternising with the defunct ANPP before it became a part of the APC, Lamido, on the other hand, had been lambasting the promoters of the new party.

A source close to two other governors said; “for now, the best thing to do is to engage in wider consultations rather than just jumping into a new party; there are many ways to kill a rat; if the PDP believes that without some governors it could go it alone, then, when election comes, we shall see.

“That has been the position of the rest governors but it is only the Adamawa State governor, who is insisting that his colleagues of like-minds should dump the PDP before 2015.”

But the Chief Press Secretary to Nyako, Ahmed Sajoh, said his boss was not leaving the PDP.

He said, “The governor has made it clear that he is not leaving PDP, but the matter in Adamawa is beyond comprehension whereby the national chairman of the PDP decides what goes on in the party in the state without an iota of concession to the governor.”

PUNCH NIGERIA

 

Posted on August 5, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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