The presidency has berated the All Progressives Congress, APC, over the threat to direct its supporters in Rivers State to resort to self-help if President Goodluck Jonathan does not wade into the political crisis in the state, saying the directive was a recipe for anarchy and vowed that whatever actions were made towards self-help would be matched with appropriate reaction by security agencies.
Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, who made this known in a statement weekend, regretted that APC, which touts itself as a progressive party, would encourage its supporters to resort to self-help to redress their grievances.
Gulak said: “The Federal Government has directed the law enforcement agencies to take seriously all statements aimed at inciting violence and disturbing the peace”.
He said no responsible administration would fold its arms and watch politicians incite their supporters to take up arms or resort to extra-judicial means to resolve disputes when there are legally established channels for conflict resolution in the country.
The presidential aide pointed out that the Federal Government has a responsibility to protect all Nigerians and ensure that every Nigerian is free to pursue his business and happiness in an atmosphere of concord and tranquility, adding that: “The Federal Government fully recognises the constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, we regard such enshrined constitutional guarantees of basic rights of Nigerians as the pillars of democratic governance; we know that the full enjoyment of such rights come with personal and civic responsibilities on individuals and groups, it is therefore regrettable and unfortunate, that APC which prides itself as a progressive party, should go all out to incite its supporters to resort to self-help to redress their grievances”.
According to Gulak, “this is a display of desperation and crass opportunism by a political party that wants to win at all cost. There are rules of engagement and we expect all parties to abide by such rules rather than fomenting trouble in order to gain media attention”.