The All Progressives Congress, APC has refuted claims the party was fond of insulting President Jonathan, with the party’s interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed challenging anyone who has statements signed by him where the president was insulted to come forward.
Speaking on a radio show, Saturday, in Lagos, where he addressed issues of national interest and spoke of his party’s activities and ambitions, Mohammed said terms like ‘incompetent’ that the party might have used in describing the president is a fact and not an insult. He went further to say we were in a democracy and not an autocratic government, and so there was freedom of speech, and criticism is allowed. Stressing his point further, he said, “…or is Jonathan an oracle who no one can speak to?”
He also said the internal crisis of the ruing People’s Democratic Party, PDP is enough for the party and the presidency to worry about, and so the APC is really not talking anymore. He however expressed fear that the crisis in the party may distract the president from focusing on governance.
Mohammed described the APC as the only party that has ruled well in states it governs, citing Lagos, Edo, Osun, Ekiti, Oyo, and Ogun states as living testimonies.
Answering questions on taxation in Lagos, Mohammed stated people should not be worried about how much they pay as tax, but they should rather be worried about what the government use their money for, saying, “people don’t want to die, but they want to go to heaven”.
A contributor on the Talk show dismissed the APC as a better political party than the PDP, calling them birds of a feather. The caller lamented the extravagance of the ‘so-called’ people’s government by the APC, citing the purchase of Land Cruiser Jeeps worth N12m each for traditional rulers in Ekiti state as an example of what he was talking about.
In his reaction, Mohammed said, “We must give some dignity to our traditional rulers. I don’t think buying a Prado jeep for a traditional ruler is too much.
“Don’t forget that in many of the rural areas,the responsibility of keeping peace and order lies very much on the traditional rulers. They are an integral part of our institution, and they play a very major role in people living together peacefully, and I do not see how any government can be hostile to traditional institutions. I think we are making a mountain out of a mole hill about a couple of cars bought for these rulers every three or four years. That’s not corruption, not in the least.
Lai Mohammed also spoke on rumours that the PDP is plotting the impeachment of Speaker, House of Representatives, who had been long seen as sympathetic to the cause of the APC, calling the Speaker a patriotic Nigeria who cannot be impeached by the PDP.
“He was not put there by the PDP, and so cannot be removed by them,” Mohammed said.