The All Progressives Congress and two of its leading members, Maj.Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and Chief Audu Ogbeh, have condemned Thursday’s invasion of the National Assembly by policemen.
The APC accused President Goodluck Jonathan of political desperation and sabotaging of war against Boko Haram all in a bid to retain power.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said this in a statement he signed on behalf of the party, in Abuja.
The party was reacting to the use of tear gas canisters to disperse lawmakers, who forced their way into the National Assembly complex.
It accused the President of sabotaging his own administration’s war against Boko Haram on the altar of personal vindictiveness and political desperation.
The party described this as unbecoming of a self-respecting national leader.
According to the party, out of desperation to oust Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, as the Speaker of House of Representatives, President Jonathan ensured that the House could not meet so as to consider his request for an extension of the State of Emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.
The statement partly read, “For a President who has severally stated his Administration’s commitment to the battle against the insurgency in the North-East, is it not a cruel irony that he allowed his personal ego and political desperation to override his sense of propriety, by moving to have Rt. Hon. Tambuwal removed instead of having the House of Representatives sit to consider his request?
“Does anyone need any more evidence that the President’s sole preoccupation is how to win the 2015 elections, rather than the fate of the hundreds of Nigerians who are daily being killed and maimed at the epicentre of the insurgency?
“Had he been genuinely committed to the fight against the insurgents, would the President not have allowed the House to sit to consider his request? How does he feel now that the entire National Assembly has been shut down because of his capricious action?.”
The APC also accused the executive of meddling in the affairs of another arm of government as well as blatant disregard for a court order that the status quo be maintained on the issue of the defection of the Speaker to the APC.
It said the President on Thursday, suffered a moral and political defeat that will hunt him for a long time to come.
Mohammed noted that the Presidency decided to use the reconvening of the House as an opportunity to remove the Speaker.
“While Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha was accorded a presidential ride into the premises of the National Assembly, House Speaker Tambuwal was barred from entry by the hordes of security agents who have been deployed solely for that purpose.” The party added.
The APC stressed that the plan was to ensure that, with Tambuwal locked out, Ihedioha would preside over the reconvened House and the Speaker would then be removed.
It said the plan was foiled as members of the House forced their way into the chambers amidst a rain of tear gas. This, the APC noted, gave the President a humiliating political defeat that played out on national television.
“This is a clear reminder that there is always a limit to impunity,” the party said.
The APC said because it is clear that history is not a forte of this presidency, it (presidency) needs to be reminded that the kind of crisis it is willfully instigating in the National Assembly helped to truncate the First Republic in the early 1960s.
It also lamented that the President was ready to throw the nation into crisis because of his ambition to be re-elected at all costs.
The party queried the Inspector-General of Police for joining the President to trample on the constitution by preventing the Speaker from entering the National Assembly.
“What would have happened if the Speaker had refused to reconvene the House? Wouldn’t Nigerians have said he is putting his personal interest above national interest?” it queried.
The APC said surely, Nigeria is in clear and present danger from the inordinate ambition of President Jonathan to run for a second term, and called on all men and women of goodwill to speak out before a desperate President brings the country down on all Nigerians.