by Akintomiwa Agbaje
The President, Goodluck Jonathan received a warning message from the All Progressive Congress (APC) yesterday that he shouldn’t try to spend the nation’s resources on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-controlled states.
According to its interim National Chairman, Bisi Akande who spoke to reporters in Abuja after the peace meeting which saw the party reconcil its members from Adamawa State. Akande said: “The reconciliatory talk is not for Adamawa State alone. We are doing reconciliatory talks for all the states of the party, where the PDP governors joined APC so that the new people coming to APC will be receptive to the members of our party. And that is exactly what we are doing with Adamawa State this afternoon. There was no query, no crisis, we just want them to know their roles and how to receive them.”
The Nigerian Eye reports
Akande said the APC has no cause to lose its sleep over the governors’ talks with anybody, stressing that Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamakko put it to Mr. president that he was at the Villa to notify him (Jonathan) of his defection to APC.
“You need to know the calibre of governors that have joined the APC. It is a pain in the neck for the PDP but it is a pleasure for the APC.”
Former Presidential candidate Nuhu Ribadu said the case of Adamawa was not different from other states.
The former EFCC boss urged political observers to appreciate that heavyweight politicians are joining the party and that the tendency of having some teething difficulties to tackle in order to have a strong foundation does not mean insurmountable problem.
Ribadu said: “In Adamawa, we are working hard under the leadership of the APC to have a better understanding, to try to take off the little challenges. And the meeting of today is in furtherance of that. And we thank God that were came out big in the understanding that indeed the future is big, new and fresh and it can accommodate all of us.”
The party also vowed to pursue the court action against the federal government on the adoption of a budget benchmark which the APC described as illegal.
On the pandemonium over the 2014 budget benchmark, Ribadu said to the APC, as an opposition party, any issue of benchmark is unconstitutional and illegal.
Ribadu said as a party that has a strategic interest and a stake in the affairs of the country, “we are saying the way the federal government is pursuing it is not just illegal but very unfair.”
Akande said: “Benchmark should never be discussed. It should never be enacted into any law. It should never be part of the budget. Benchmark is unconstitutional. The constitution says that all funds coming in should be paid into the common pool and should be shared according to the laid down regulations. So to bring benchmark is to promote corruption.”
On corruption, Ribadu gave the President a wake up call, advising him to heed the advice of House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal.
The speaker on Monday chided the President for waging a weak war against corruption.
Ribadu said :”My own and what I will want to add is to talk to President Jonathan directly and say please listen: when people talk, especially serious people, people, who are in strategic positions in our country, when the tell you something, take it and improve yourself.
“The message of the speaker to Mr. President is wake up, what you have been doing is not going well especially with the fight against corruption. And all that he (speaker) said are nothing new.
“They are all what we as Nigerians are aware of and we see it and we live with it daily. I want to appeal to the President that as our leader, the President of 160 million Nigerians, Nigerians are telling him the reality and the truth, especially when it comes to the fight against corruption, let him listen to Tambuwal.
“What he said is the truth. What he said is what Nigerians believe. What he said is the fundamental thing that today all of us are worried and concerned. It is a matter of telling you so that you correct yourself.”
Reacting to plans by the Federal Government to disburse $32billion to 16 PDP governors, Akande said: “If they illegally manipulate the national treasury; it is easy for the federal government to spend its money the way it wants, but it will be illegal for them, it will be unconstitutional for them to take the money from the national purse.
“There is the national purse and there is the federal government’s purse. If they take the money from the federal government’s purse we won’t bother; they can do that. But if they take the money from the common purse, there will be trouble.”