A former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Richard Akinjide, SAN, has called on Nigerians to give their full support to President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in order to ensure its success.
Mr. Akinjide, who made the plea in a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan, Oyo State on Sunday, also decried the recent defection of some governors and members of the House of Representatives, elected on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“I feel greatly concerned about the crises in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in certain sections of Nigeria. I am particularly concerned with what is going on in the South-West Nigeria”, Mr. Akinjide said.
While stressing the need to support President Jonathan’s administration, the politician, who is a member of the PDP Board of Trustees, BoT, said: “We now have one of our brothers from the Niger Delta as the President. I say categorically, without doubt, that we must support him in our national interest. Any contrary move will have negative and serious consequences”.
Mr. Akinjide also contributed to the debate on the legality or otherwise of last week’s cross-carpeting of 37 federal lawmakers to the APC, saying the provisions of the Nigerian constitution does not allow the rep members to retain their seats in the House after dumping the party that sponsored them there.
“Section 68. Sub-section I of the Electoral Act 2011 says, “A member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if- (g) being a person whose election to the House was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected. The vacation of the seat by the Member is mandatory”, he quoted.
The former minister also blamed the ongoing political crisis across the country, particularly the exodus of PDP members to the rival APC, on what he termed ‘excessive greed’.
“Excessive greed is dangerous. Nigeria is so large that the game of nations for the government during our time is available to all. The Nigerian nation and economic resources are so enormous that nobody will be left out. In 1910 and 1914, we contracted our marriage. All parts of Nigeria are the beneficiary of that marriage. From Lagos to Ibadan to Maiduguri and from Sokoto to Abuja to Benue and Calabar and from Kano to Benin, the sky is not the limit. I hereby urge all Nigerians to be loyal to Mr. President and to the PDP and to control their personal emotions. Again, I repeat that the PDP must remain as one united political party. We are all in the game of nations”, the statement said.