Thursday, 8 March 2012

ACN Replies President Goodluck

ACN: Our statement borne out of deep respect for office of President The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has rejected the characterisation of its regular constructive criticism of the Jonathan administration as an indication of disrespect for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, saying that is simply not the case. In a statement issued in Ilorin on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the statement by the President's Spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, in which he made the allegation, was so defensive that it easily gives the Spokesman away as someone more eager to keep his plum job than to convince Nigerians that his boss' actions and statements are dignifying his high office. ''For the avoidance of doubt, we have nothing but the highest respect for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In fact, it is for that reason that we issued the statement in which we advised the President to refrain from making statements that will make him look more partisan than presidential. ''There is nothing 'disparaging' or constituting 'personal attacks' in asking the President to look at himself in the mirror or to show deep introspection in his public comments, and we are sure a brilliant fellow like Dr. Abati knows that very well, if he could momentarily remove his snout from the nectar of office. ''Unfortunately, in his eagerness to be seen to be working hard in defending his boss, Dr. Abati simply echoed what we said in our statement that seems to have rankled him so much. For example, Dr Abati wrote ' The time for electioneering campaigns and trying to score cheap political points, by any means possible, must be separated from the time for delivering dividends of democracy. The occupant of the Number One office in the land is father of all and not of one party.' This is exactly what we are saying!'' ACN said. The party said it (ACN) should be counted out of those who have engaged in ''unprecedented attacks'' on the character of the President, saying an analysis of its press statements over the years will show a party that has been measured in its use of words, dignified in its stance on issues and consistent on the need for the government of the day to ensure good governance and total respect for the rule of law. ''While we will continue to show nothing but total respect for the office of the President, we will not be cowed into relenting in engaging in regular constructive criticism of the government of the day. Not even the thinly-veiled threat contained in Dr. Abati's statement, that 'Alhaji Lai Mohammed needs to be reminded that the ACN's culture of throwing abusive and disparaging comments is getting out of control', will be enough to make us shirk our role as the nation's biggest opposition party. ''While we will ignore the barbs thrown in our direction by Dr. Abati in his statements, we will however like to remind him that the decision by President Jonathan to visit any state (including Ogun), is purely within the demands of his office as President, and should not be used to blackmail the ACN or any other party for that matter into keeping quiet when things are obviously going wrong,'' the party said. Alhaji Lai Mohammed National Publicity Secretary Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Ilorin, March 8th 2012

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