by Akintomiwa Agbaje
Redemption appears to be a distant dream for the Goodluck Jonathan administration as the All Progressives Congress (APC) have refused to give it a breathing space.
According to the APC’s Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, The National Assembly should impeach Dr. Jonathan for “gross misconduct. This is to save Nigeria from imminent collapse,” he concluded.
The Nation reports:
In a statement by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it was making this call with a high sense of responsibility and the strong belief that the impeachment of the President is a legitimate constitutional option available to the National Assembly not only to protect the nation’s democracy but also to ensure the country’s unity.
It said: ‘’Our country is drifting dangerously and our people are divided now perhaps more than at any other point in our history, with the exception of the civil war period. There is a total failure of leadership, even as insecurity, unprecedented corruption, palpable impunity, massive unemployment and hunger stalk the land.
‘’Since the raison d’etre of any government is the security and welfare of the citizenry, and the present administration has failed to live up to the justification of its existence, there can be no other definition of gross misconduct than that.
‘’Therefore, the time has come for the head of that government, on whose desk the buck stops, to be removed through the provisions stipulated in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is the patriotic thing to do.’’
The APC warned that if the National Assembly failed to act and do so very fast, it will share with the “clueless and feckless” Jonathan Administration the eternal blame for bringing to naught the hard work of the nation’s heroes past and for crashing and dashing the hopes of millions of Nigerians, especially the youth who are the leaders of tomorrow.
The party said it was necessary for anyone who may say the call for the impeachment of President Jonathan is “outlandish” to remember that all it takes to torpedo this democracy is for “this ‘increasingly-paranoid’ government to get a pliant Judge to put a judicial stamp on just one of its litany of illegalities, thus setting the country ablaze, adding: ‘’And there are many such Judges as we can see by some recent events, despite our warnings that the efforts of the current CJN to clean up the judiciary must not be sabotaged by a few pliant Judges.
‘’One such scenario is the present challenge in court by the PDP of the defection to the APC of five state governors. The PDP has gone to court fully aware of the ruling of the Supreme Court after the party (PDP) attempted to make then Vice President Atiku Abubakar to lose his seat and to also strip him of his privileges following his defection to the ACN.
‘’What then can be the sole motive behind the PDP’s action: To plunge Nigeria into chaos! This is why we issued a strong warning in our statement of December 5th thus: ‘We wish to state unequivocally that should the PDP go ahead with this plan, there will be widespread repercussions as the APC has resolved that henceforth, every act of impunity of the PDP and the Presidency will be met with stiff resistance in the form of a vociferous telegraphing of people power, the likes of which have not been witnessed in these parts’.
‘’We reiterate those words today, and make bold to say that not even the revelation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, that snipers are being trained secretly and that 1,000 people have been placed on political watch, will deter us from saving this democracy, which was watered by the sweat and blood of many patriots, long before this generation of opportunists stormed the political scene,’’ it said.
APC said while Nigerians were very much aware of the failings of this government in all sectors, it is important to remind them that the government has in particular not been up to scratch in fighting corruption, which is the fastest way to bring a nation to its knees; Insecurity, which has worsened so much that even those saddled with the security of protecting the nation are being attacked and killed at will; Impunity, which is best exemplified in Rivers State where a Commissioner of Police no longer takes orders from the Inspector General.
The party said the government had also failed to provide jobs for youths, even as it daily reels out phantom figures of economic growth that only serve to keep the so-called Ivy League-trained officials in charge of the economy on their jobs. Besides, electricity generation has so plummeted that many will celebrate the forthcoming Yuletide in darkness, the APC said, adding:
‘’The talk out there now is that Nigeria has never had it so bad. But the government may not know because it has distanced itself from the people. Therefore, for embracing corruption so much and providing succour to corrupt public officials; for threatening the country’s fragile unity through divisive policies and politics; for frittering away the nation’s resources through unprecedented cronyism and clannishness, and for a total failure of leadership, this President deserves to be slammed with the cudgel of impeachment.’’
But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) faulted the APC’s impeachment call.
In a statement by Chief Olisa Metuh, its national publicity secretary, the ruling party said: “The call by the APC for the impeachment of President Goodluck Jonathan is irresponsible, immature, self seeking and part of their larger agenda to truncate democracy in Nigeria.
“Upon their realisation that they will not win in the 2015 general elections following the failure of their plans to break the ranks and strength of the PDP, they now seek to use all means to cause confusion in the land. The APC knows the implication of the call which is to cause massive turmoil and destroy the unity of our dear nation.
“Nevertheless, the PDP is ready, willing and able to stop them in their track.”