President Goodluck Jonathan has been accused of being so obsessed with his 2015 re-election bid that he has declared war against the opposition as manifested in the impeachment of former Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako on Tuesday and plans to mete out similar treatment to other opposition governors.
The national chairman of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, raised this alarm yesterday while addressing a press conference at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja.
The press briefing was attended by APC chieftains including Senator Bukola Saraki, Chief Audu Ogbeh, deputy chairman (North) Senator Lawal Shuaibu, national vice chairman (North-East), Engr B.D. Lawal, National Publicity Secretary of the party, Lai Mohammed; Minority Whip, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; and former lawmaker, Dino Melaiye.
According to the APC national chairman: “Our freedoms are being emasculated, our economy being run to the ground, and our only hope of bringing about change — our democratic expression — is being smothered before our very eyes all because President Goodluck Jonathan is so obsessed with re-election in 2015 at all cost that he is destroying not just all our key institutions but indeed the entire country.
“At this critical juncture of our history and despite our desire for restraint and mature engagement with President Goodluck Jonathan and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it is evident that inaction is no longer an option and we must resist it.
“Indeed, keeping quiet in the face of the ceaseless and unrelenting reckless violations of all known laws of the land and the constitution will amount to complicity in the lawlessness and impunity that has become the norm under President Goodluck Jonathan”.
Oyegun disclosed that the ruling PDP was unsatisfied with its victory in Ekiti State but wants to have Nasarawa, Edo, Osun and Rivers states as well.
“We know it has been the dream of the ruling PDP to rule for 60 unbroken years, not minding if Nigeria becomes a desert land in the process. Their evil machination has manifested in Ekiti. It has manifested yesterday in Adamawa, They have carried it to Nasarawa, and they have Edo, Osun and Rivers in their sights.
“In the states mentioned, all of them opposition strongholds, Jonathan and his party have abused national institutions, resorted to crude use of force and engaged in unprecedented financial inducements to achieve their objectives. All these anti-democratic tactics come under the umbrella of power with impunity!”
According to Oyegun, President Jonathan “does not care whether every institution of state, be it the military, the courts, INEC or any other one, is destroyed. All that matters now is his re-election. This explains why he has embarked on this war against the opposition, this war against all of Nigeria”.
He accused the president of destroying some public institutions such as the military, the police, the judiciary, electoral umpire and then adopted impeachment as a tool of destabilising the opposition.
“Having bastardized the army, the police, the courts, aviation and the electoral commission, he has now moved to the next level: impeachment. Every impeachment or threat of it in recent times has the imprint of President Jonathan.
“As we speak, the governor of Adamawa, Murtala Nyako, has been impeached at the instance of the president and his party; they have moved to Nasarawa, their next stop, while Rivers, Edo and Borno, all APC states, are not being spared the destabilization that precedes their new-found weapon”.
The party faulted the impeachment process that removed its governor in Adamawa, describing it as “the worst manifestation of impunity”.
“What was Nyako impeached for? Offences he allegedly committed five years ago. Those offences were not impeachable when he was in the PDP. But the moment he decamped to the APC, they became impeachable.
“The entire ‘impeachment’ of Governor Nyako is so fraught with irregularities, bias, judicial contradictions and in violation of every procedural and constitutional provisions that it is the worst manifestation of impunity. We intend to mount an immediate and rigorous challenge to this gross injustice to the party and people of Adamawa State”.
On the plot to remove Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa, APC argued that President Jonathan was guilty of the same offence the state House of Assembly charged the governor with.
“What is Gov. Al-Makura of Nasarawa being threatened with impeachment for? Allegations of extra-budgetary expenditure; the same offence that President Jonathan has committed many times. In fact, only on the 10th of July 2014, the Senate passed a resolution asking President Goodluck Jonathan to prepare and submit to the National Assembly supplementary budget to cover the over-expenditure in the sum of N90.693 billion (US$585 billion) for PMS subsidy 2012 and the sum of N685.910 billion (US$4.430 billion) for kerosene (DPK) subsidy expended without appropriation by the National Assembly in 2012 and 2013!”
The party further accused the Presidency of inducing state legislators with a view to using them to impeach the governors of Adamawa, Nasarawa and Edo states.
“In Adamawa, each member of the State House of Assembly was allegedly given $300,000 as part-payment to impeach Gov. Nyako; some N500 million has allegedly been moved to Nasarawa to induce the state’s lawmakers to impeach Gov. Al-Makura, and in Edo, each lawmaker has allegedly been offered N75 million to impeach Gov. Adams Oshiomhole.
“Now, who is more guilty of gross misconduct than a president who is frittering away our common wealth to induce perfidious legislators to impeach their state governors? Who is more guilty of gross misconduct than a president who deploys troops to harass, intimidate and arrest the opposition during an election? Who deserves to be impeached for gross misconduct more than a president who uses national institutions against the opposition, and shuts airports arbitrarily?”
The party further stated that Jonathan was heading towards making a record of being the president under whose watch many governors were impeached.
“President Jonathan’s desperation knows no bounds, and he is willing to set a record of presiding over the greatest number of impeachments under his tenure. Before Nyako’s impeachment on Tuesday, a total of five impeachments had been carried out in all of the 15 years of the Fourth Republic. But between now and 2015, President Jonathan is championing five impeachments — in Adamawa, Nasarawa, Edo, Rivers and Borno.