Abuja â€” The Northern Political Leaders Forum has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of political intolerance, warning that such undemocratic acts could undermine the country’s nascent democracy, national unity and political stability, according to a statement signed by former Senate president, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu yesterday.
However, a reaction signed by Sully Abu, Director of Media and Publicity, Goodluck Jonathan/Namadi Sambo Presidential Campaign Organisation counselled all politicians to heed the advice of President Jonathan to run issues-based campaign as he would not be intimidated by any manner of underhand and diversionary tactics from the political opposition under any guise.
The statement read in part: “Recently, he falsified history by declaring openly that zoning in the PDP does not include the office of president and the vice-president. Section 7.2c of the PDP constitution states clearly that “in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice and fairness, the party shall adhere to the policy of rotation and zoning of party and public elective offices and it shall be enforced by the appropriate executive committee at all levels.
“The recent public humiliation of respected political leaders of the South East, among which were a former Vice-President, Senate President, former Governors, Ministers and highly respected leaders is symptomatic of dictatorship which is going out of fashion in other countries of Africa and the Third World.”
Furthermore, the forum said that, last month, the administration caused the cancellation of a meeting of Northern Governors and other political leaders scheduled to take place in Kaduna.
The NPLF equally noted that the First Lady publicly berated the Governor of Rivers State, stressing that despite widespread public outcry and condemnation, no apologies were extended to the governor and people of Rivers state.
“Unfortunately, the administration has extended this climate of high handedness to the armed forces. History shows that unnecessary politicisation of the armed forces is a recipe for disaster.
“We call on the Nigerian people and the international community to prevail on President Jonathan to immediately desist from these anti-democratic and unconstitutional activities which may undermine our democracy, national unity and political stability,” the NPLF warned.
The statement by Abu reads:”The attention of the Goodluck Jonathan/ Namadi Sambo Campaign organisation has been drawn to a series of wild allegations by the self-styled Northern Political Leaders Forum, which border on sheer blackmail and political mischief.
Allegations of the involvement of the government of President Jonathan in actions which the Forum claimed were “capable of undermining democracy and the country’s constitution” have become characteristic.
“The allegations were designed to impugn the integrity of the President. In that endeavour, the Forum is bound to fail woefully in the eyes of right-thinking Nigerians.
Agencies of government do not have to wait for any prompting or directive to perform their statutory functions and no one should cast aspersions on the president in this regard.
Nowhere in the statement is the Forum concerned about the welfare of Nigerians. The focus of the Forum mainly is how to stop President Jonathan from contesting the 2011 presidential election.
In contrast, President Jonathan’s mission is how to transform Nigeria and to touch the lives of the populace in a positive way.
We seize this opportunity to emphasize that President Jonathan is running on a national, not sectional nor zonal platform and call on his opponents to do the same.