LAGOS: THE Presidency has dismissed accusations by General Muhammadu Buhari that President Goodluck Jonathan was leading the country towards a state of anarchy. A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, said Jonathan was “shocked” by the “spurious allegation” made by the former head of state against the Presidency.
“We have noted with much surprise and regret, the statement issued by General Muhammadu Buhari in which he made some wild and totally unsustainable allegations against President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan,” Abati stated.
“Although he tries very hard to deny it in the statement titled “Pull Nigeria Back From the Brink”, there can be no doubt that General Buhari has sadly moved away from the patriotic and statesmanlike position he recently adopted on national security, which President Jonathan publicly commended, and has now reverted to unbridled political partisanship.”
Abati’s statement noted that there could be no other explanation or justification for the “completely unwarranted and very uncharitable assault” on the conduct and integrity of President Jonathan which Buhari’s remarks represented.
According to Abati, Buhari’s main grouse which clearly motivated his ill-considered statement appears to be what he called “the gale of impeachments or the utilisation of desperate tactics to suffocate the opposition and turn Nigeria into a one-party state”.
“It is most unfortunate that instead of working to put their house in order and resolve the leadership crises and internal contradictions that have plunged their party into a downward spiral, General Buhari and his opposition allies have resorted to blaming a blameless President for their woes,” read the statement.
He defended the recent impeachment of All Progressives governors, which Buhari earlier criticised. “The processes for impeaching an elected Governor are clearly stipulated in the National Constitution which Nigeria has operated since 1999.
“The President of Nigeria is not assigned any role in that process and President Jonathan has certainly not played any role in the recent impeachment of Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa or in the impeachment drama currently being played out in Nasarawa State.”
Abati said for the record, Jonathan remained fully committed to upholding the Constitution. “General Buhari talks about anarchy. He needs to be reminded that President Jonathan from his humble beginnings as a Deputy Governor in Bayelsa state to date, has never in his acts, or utterances, recommended or promoted violence as a tool of political negotiation.
“Contrary to whatever General Buhari and his new friends may imagine, President Jonathan fully respects the rights, powers, authority and independence of elected representatives of the people, including the members of the state assemblies who have concluded or initiated impeachment proceedings against their state governors on grounds which they consider justifiable.”
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY