The Presidency has reacted to the statement by the Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Bisi Akande, who asserted that the country is on ‘auto-pilot’, saying the comment amounts to partisan blackmail.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, in a statement issued on Sunday said: “We consider it most unfortunate that the chairman of the APC will use the opportunity of the situation in the country namely the abduction of the girls of GSSC, Chibok to engage in partisan blackmail.
“The issue of national security should go beyond partisan politics. This is a very serious moment requiring seriousness. But to reduce all of that to partisan politics is in bad taste, it is irresponsible one-upmanship.
“One, Nigeria is not on auto pilot. There is a government in place; there is a President who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. He is doing his very best to provide quality leadership and to reassure Nigerians that government stands ready always to defend their best interest.
“‘We are on top of the situation’ that Chief Akande referred to is an English idiom and indeed, the government is on top of the situation. Government’s primary responsibility is to ensure that when issues come up, it stands firm to do its very best to protect the people.
“This administration has continually showed courage and commitment in the face of whatever challenge that may arise.
“To give the impression that the President is doing nothing is dishonest. This government is not mouthing meaningless phrases; this government is not engaging in blame game. This government has a job to do and it is doing the job.
“They cannot say that government is on auto pilot in the face of all the achievements of this administration in the rail sector, health, aviation, foreign relations, transportation, trade and investment and in every sector.
“If Chief Akande wants to be honest with himself; he will say the truth and the truth will be that this country has been moved forward by President Jonathan, that we are not at the level we were at the time President Jonathan assumed office in 2011,
“So to say the country is on auto pilot is unpatriotic because it is a lie.
“Chief Akande has made a number of recommendations. This administration welcomes suggestions and recommendations. If he had limited his contributions to just making these recommendations, he would have sounded like a statesman.
“But let him be informed that even those recommendations that he has made are things that are already in place. These are steps that had already been taken by this administration. So there is nothing original in his recommendations that is unknown to the administration.
“But he went beyond making recommendations to begin to engage in politics. We will like to advise people like him that where national interest is involved, we should come together and work hand-in-hand with the government.
“This is not the occasion for politicking, campaigning about 2015 and trying to run down the country.
“In fact, it is people like him who run down their country that are creating problems for the country”.