The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku to look inwards if he is earnestly searching for people who are anti-people and anti-development, and to ask President Goodluck Jonathan why he is finding it difficult to allow peace to reign in Rivers State.
The opposition party was reacting to a statement credited to the minister on Wednesday shortly after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting, that APC’s directive to its members in the National Assembly to block all Executive Bills until normalcy is restored in Rivers State, was anti-national interest and an attempt to endanger democracy.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party accused the Maku of engaging in an emotional outburst that is devoid of reason or logic.
It urged the Minister to realize that anytime he points one finger at others, four other fingers are pointing back at him.
“It is interesting that an Information Minister who does not see anything wrong in the illegal use of the police to deny the people of a state, in the nation he is purportedly serving, their constitutionally-guaranteed rights of free association, free movement and free speech, has suddenly found his voice to rant at perceived enemies of Nigeria, when the real enemies are within the government he is serving.
“Where was Mr. Maku when a serving Senator was shot in Rivers simply for attending a rally? What happened to Mr. Maku’s voice when an elected Governor was being harassed by a Police Commissioner who is supposed to take orders from him, going by the Constitution? Why did Mr. Maku not raise an alarm when Rivers legislators were locked out of the State House of Assembly chambers? If Mr. Maku wants to know those who are seeking to truncate the nation’s democracy, he should inquire from the Presidency, which has been the pillar of support behind the anarchists in Rivers”, APC said.
The party insisted there is nothing anti-development about a party asking its federal lawmakers to withdraw legislative cooperation from a lawless federal government that is promoting and sponsoring anarchy in a state of the federation until it restores constitutionalism and the rule of law to that state.
“In case Mr. Maku has forgotten, it is his party, the PDP that has used its majority in the House to frustrate the Petroleum Industry Bill that has now forced international oil companies to start divesting from Nigeria. Considering that oil remains the mainstay of our economy, who then is trying to endanger the nation’s survival? Which party can best be described as ant-development if not the PDP?” it queried.
APC urged Mr. Maku to instead tell Nigerians why the Presidency is finding it so difficult to rein in the impudent and unprofessional Police Commissioner in Rivers State, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu.
“If the Presidency wants the legislative cooperation of our members today, all he has to do is to call Mbu to order by telling him to face, squarely, his policing duty and leave politics to politicians; and also ensure that no other part of the country is allowed to descend into a state of anarchy just because the Presidency wants it to happen for reasons that are everything but in the national interest.
“Mr. Maku, the summary of our statement is that the Presidency should be held responsible for the face-off that has now rankled you so much. Rest assured, however, that the face-off will not last another 24 hours if the Presidency would stop playing the puppeteer in the Rivers crisis”, APC said.