The All Progressives Congress, APC, has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of carrying his re-election desperation to a new height on Monday when he unleashed thugs on Lagos residents during a sponsored Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) protest against Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said just as it (APC) had alerted the nation in its press statement on Sunday, the President’s supporters, led by the OPC, took to major roads in the city during rush hour traffic to unleash mayhem on the citizens, create massive gridlock that prevented many workers from reaching their places of work and destroy any APC campaign poster they could lay their hands on.
“They said we are raising false alarm. But just as we had alerted Nigerians, the Jonathan Administration’s sponsored protest took place, with dire consequences for residents. However, the President’s chances in the forthcoming elections suffered a collateral damage as the 9-billion-Naira-powered protest backfired, with even supporters of the President being forced to have a rethink due to the massive scale of the lawlessness and brigandage that took place during a supposedly peaceful protest”, it said.
The opposition party said the next plot by the Jonathan Administration is a series of anti-Tinubu demonstrations in Lagos, for which the planners have been mobilized with millions of Naira.
“During the forthcoming demonstrations, the protesters have been told to carry placards asking the EFCC to probe the allegations made against Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the deceitful, ill-intentioned and irresponsible ‘documentary’ that was sponsored by the same Jonathan Administration. Such is the level of President Jonathan’s desperation for re-election that a man who is not on the ballot in the forthcoming elections has become a target of unprecedented mudslinging by his (President’s) Administration”, the party said.
It said taking into consideration the sponsored protests by MASSOB and the OPC, the unprovoked and virulent attacks on the presidential candidate of the APC, Muhammadu Buhari, the sponsored documentary of lies as well as the planned demonstrations against Tinubu, and the inciting statements by First Lady Patience Jonathan, who has asked her supporters to stone APC members and supporters, there is undisputed evidence that President Jonathan himself is leading the campaign to make the elections violent and Nigeria ungovernable.
“It is a cruel irony that a President who swore to an oath to make the security and welfare of Nigerians his priority has been the same one orchestrating reprehensible acts of violence in the polity, to the detriment of the well-being and safety of his compatriots, just because of re-election desperation.
“Because they (protesters) were pro-Jonathan, hordes of policemen who could not prevent a deadly robbery, in which three policemen lost their lives in Lagos a few days back, offered massive protection to the OPC members who brandished guns, machetes, clubs and knives openly as terrified Lagos residents scampered for safety.
“It is noteworthy that the policemen who protected the OPC members during their protest did not stop them from destroying APC posters and other campaign materials, neither did they prevent them from unleashing mayhem on the people. As far as the increasingly-partisan security agents were concerned, everything done in support of President Jonathan is fair.
“We are therefore alerting all Nigerians as well as the international community to note that President Jonathan himself is the one setting the stage for violence before, during and after the forthcoming polls, despite his tiring platitude that his political ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian. From this precarious situation to which the Administration and the PDP have pushed Nigeria, it is but a short cut to Laurent Gbagbo’s post-election Ivory Coast”, APC said.
The party wondered which country President Jonathan wants to govern when he is relentlessly engineering the destruction of Nigeria by goading ethnic militias into violence and exploiting the nation’s fault lines to divide the people along regional, religious and ethnic lines.
”We have said it before: President Jonathan is not interested in a free, fair and peaceful polls. He is not interested in the welfare and security of Nigerians. He does not give a damn about the unity of the country. For him, the end justifies the means, and any action, no matter how objectionable, is alright if it will favour his re-election.
”This is not the stuff of good leaders. What kind of leader is that who will be willing to plunge his nation into crisis just for his political ambition? What sort of President will be bribing people from all walks of live with foreign currencies just to return to office, instead of showcasing his achievements, if any? What desperation will make a President to empty the treasury and endanger the nation’s economy? Why would a leader worth his salt turn to ethnic militias to help him win re-election? These are some of the questions that are begging for answers from President Jonathan”, APC said.