President Goodluck Jonathan has taken serious exception to General Muhammadu Buhari’s attempt to link him to the haze of impeachments that are now ringing bell across the country, saying that Buhari is just reeling in idle scapegoating.
The President wanted General Buhari and others who have resorted to blaming him for their self-inflicted political troubles to stop their inexcusable partisanship and show greater regard for the truth, democracy, constitutionalism, the rule of law, peace, security and the well-being of the nation.
In a statement by his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, responding to General Buhari’s accusation of him being the brain behind the impeachment of Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state and other impeachment processes ongoing, Jonathan expressed surprise and regret for such statement coming from General Buhari.
He said that Buhari’s statement, titled: “Pull Nigeria Back From the Brink,” was full of wild and totally unsustainable allegations.
“There can be no doubt that General Buhari has sadly moved away from the patriotic and statesmanlike position he recently adopted on national security, which I publicly commended, and has now reverted to unbridled political partisanship.
“There can be no other explanation or justification for the completely unwarranted and very uncharitable assault on the conduct and integrity of President Jonathan which the statement he issued today represents.
“General Buhari’s main grouse which clearly motivated his ill-considered statement appears to be what he called “the gale of impeachments or the utilization of desperate tactics to suffocate the opposition and turn Nigeria into a one-party state.”
The President considered it most unfortunate that instead of working to put their house in order and resolve the leadership crises and internal contradictions that have plunged their party into a downward spiral, General Buhari and his opposition allies have resorted to blaming a blameless President for their woes.
He reminded the General that the processes for impeaching an elected Governor are clearly stipulated in the National Constitution which Nigeria has operated since 1999, adding that President of Nigeria is not assigned any role in that process and therefore he has not played any role in the recent impeachment of Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa or in the impeachment drama currently being played out in Nasarawa State.
“For the record, President remains fully committed to upholding the letters, principles and spirit of the Nigerian Constitution as he has sworn, and defending the rule of law and integrity of the democratic process with all his might.”
On the General Buhari’s statement about anarchy, the President reminded him that from his humble beginnings as a Deputy Governor in Bayelsa state to date, he has never in his acts, or utterances, recommended or promoted violence as a tool of political negotiation.
“Contrary to whatever General Buhari and his new friends may imagine, I fully respect the rights, powers, authority and independence of elected representatives of the people, including the members of the state assemblies who have concluded or initiated impeachment proceedings against their state governors on grounds which they consider justifiable.
“The constitution does not give the President any power to intervene in such proceedings and I have never arrogated such powers to myself
or sought to exert any nefarious and unconstitutional influence on state assemblies in Adamawa, Nasarawa or anywhere else in other to secure undue political advantage for my party as General Buhari unjustifiably alleges.”
President Jonathan said that he remain true to his declaration that no political ambition of his is worth the life of a single Nigerian, adding that he has definitely not declared war on his own country or deployed federal institutions in the service of partisan interests as General Buhari falsely claims. “Neither have I been using the common wealth to subvert the system and punish the opposition, as the former Head of State inexcusably asserts.”
The President made it clear also that he has never at any time ordered that any Nigerian should be kidnapped or that anyone should be crated and forcefully transported in violation of decent norms of governance.
“We therefore urge General Buhari to tarry a while, ponder over his own antecedents and do a reality check as to whether he has the moral right to be so carelessly sanctimonious.” [myad]