The Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led New Peoples’ Democratic Party (nPDP) has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to restore the diplomatic passports allegedly withdrawn from Senate President David Mark and Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal.
The faction was reacting to speculations in the media that the diplomatic passports of leaders and some members of the National Assembly may have been withdrawn on the directive of the Presidency.
In a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the nPDP, Chukwuemeka Eze yesterday in Abuja, the faction said the directive, if true, portended grave political implications for President Goodluck Jonathan and attributed the action to the warm reception accorded the leadership of the nPDP when they visited the National Assembly last Thursday.
The statement said: “The implication is that whenever they travel abroad, the 109 Senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives would no longer enjoy the special privileges the blue-coloured passport confers on its holder, meaning that they can be arrested like ordinary citizens.
“This directive, if eventually carried out, would only end up unnecessarily overheating the polity. Those encouraging the President in this direction are actually his true enemies as it is not wise to incur the wrath of these great Nigerians knowing the implications for him politically”.
The faction pleaded with the president to consider the consequences of working against the legislators, who have been his pillar of support and even introduced the “doctrine of necessity” that facilitated his swearing-in as acting president against the wish of the cabal that sought to exploit the illness of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, to rule by proxy.
The Baraje faction also called on President Jonathan to reinstate his Special Adviser on National Assembly, Senator Joy Emodi, who was sacked on Friday.
The faction claimed that Emodi was relieved of her appointment because she voiced her objection to financial inducement of members of the National Assembly for the purpose of impeaching their leaders.
“If this is true, we hereby demand her immediate reinstatement. For Senator Emodi to be bold enough to tell Mr. President the implication of such a corrupt inducement of the lawmakers, should earn her commendation rather than a sack.
“Instead of sacking such a forthright and patriotic Amazon, the President should sack those hawks around him planning to ridicule him by encouraging him to embark on acts capable of making him very unpopular amongst his supporters and followers”, the statement added.
Rather, the nPDP said the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah should have been the one to be sacked for purportedly abandoning work on the remodeling of the Port Harcourt International Airport.
The faction alleged that the minister’s action was influenced by the ongoing political rift between the Mr. Jonathan and Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State.
“We plead with you, Mr. President, not to embark upon any further act or impunity that will endanger the peace and unity of our troubled nation”, the faction said.