The All Progressives Congress has called on the National Assembly to immediately commence the process of impeaching President Goodluck Jonathan for alleged gross misconduct.It said in a statement on Sunday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that Jonathan’s impeachment would save Nigeria from imminent collapse.But the Presidency warned the APC and others, who it said were bent on plunging the nation into political instability, to be ready for the consequences of treasonable action.The opposition party, however, said it made the call with a high sense of responsibility and strong belief that the impeachment of the President was a legitimate constitutional option available to the National Assembly not only to protect the nation’s democracy, but to ensure its unity.It explained that it based the call for Jonathan’s impeachment on the dangerous drifting of the country.The APC added that there was a total failure of leadership, insecurity, unprecedented corruption, impunity, massive unemployment and hunger in the country.
The statement reads in part, ‘’Since the raison d’etre of any government is the security and welfare of the citizenry, and the present administration has failed to live up to the justification of its existence, there can be no other definition of gross misconduct but that.
“Therefore, the time has come for the head of that government, on whose desk the buck stops, to be removed through the provisions stipulated in the 1999 Constitution. This is the patriotic thing to do.”
The APC warned that if the National Assembly failed to act very fast, it would share with the “clueless and feckless” Jonathan administration, the blame for dashing the hopes of millions of Nigerians, especially the youth.
The party said it was necessary for anyone who might say the call for the impeachment of the President was outlandish to remember that all it would take to torpedo the current democracy was “for this increasingly-paranoid government to get a pliant judge to put a judicial stamp on just one of its litany of illegalities.”
The party also wondered why the PDP could go to court to challenge the defection of five of its governors.
It recalled that an attempt by the ruling party to declare the seat of the then Vice-President Atiku Abubakar vacant was rejected by the Supreme Court, when he defected to the then Action Congress of Nigeria.
It wondered what could have been the motive behind the latest action of the PDP.
The APC said, ‘’What then can be the sole motive behind the PDP’s action? To plunge Nigeria into chaos? This is why we issued a strong warning in our statement of December 5 in which we said, ‘We wish to state unequivocally that should the PDP go ahead with this plan, there will be widespread repercussions as the APC has resolved that, henceforth, every act of impunity of the PDP and the Presidency will be met with stiff resistance in the form of a vociferous telegraphing of people’s power, the likes of which have not been witnessed in these parts.’
“We reiterate those words today (Sunday), and make bold to say that not even the revelation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that snipers are being trained secretly and that 1,000 people have been placed on political watch, will deter us from saving this democracy, which was watered by the sweat and blood of many patriots, long before this generation of opportunists stormed the political scene.”
The opposition said while Nigerians were very much aware of the failings of the Jonathan government in all sectors, it was important to remind them that the administration had, in particular, not been up to scratch in fighting corruption.
The party said the government had also failed to provide jobs for Nigerian youths, even as it daily reels out phantom figures of economic growth that only serve to keep the so-called Ivy League-trained officials in charge of the economy on their jobs.
The APC added, “The talk out there now is that Nigeria has never had it so bad. But the government may not know because it has distanced itself from the people.
“Therefore, for embracing corruption so much and providing succour to corrupt public officials, for threatening the country’s fragile unity through divisive policies and politics, for frittering away the nation’s resources through unprecedented cronyism and clannishness, and for a total failure of leadership, this President deserves to be slammed with the cudgel of impeachment.’’
When contacted, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, said the Senate was not aware of the call for the President’ s impeachment by the APC
“I can only react to issues and matters before the Senate that have been concluded. No letter or motion has been brought before the Senate on the issue,” he said.
But the Presidency, in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, dismissed the call as opportunistic, partisan and ill-motivated.
“The Presidency warns that the APC and any person who make themselves its willing tools for the breach of public order and safety will be made to face the full sanctions of the law. Those who are threatening fire and brimstone should be ready for the consequences of treasonable action,” it said.
It advised Nigerians to distinguish between reckless violations of civic duty and the urgent need to protect the integrity of the nation against those who for selfish reasons had declared their readiness to stop at nothing.
While describing the call as reckless and irresponsible, the Presidency warned that the Federal Government would not standby and let the nation be plunged into unnecessary political instability.
The statement reads in part, “We have noted with utter disdain, the reckless and irresponsible call by the APC on Sunday for the National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against President Goodluck Jonathan.
“Ordinarily, we would not have dignified Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s latest vituperations in the service of his paymasters with a response, but we thought it necessary to warn that the Federal Government will not standby idly and let the nation be plunged into unnecessary crises and political instability because of the desperation and apparent readiness of the APC spokesman and his gang of power-seeking desperadoes to sacrifice the well-being of the country on the altar of their selfish personal ambitions.
“The Presidency totally condemns the decision by Alhaji Mohammed and his party to move further beyond the bounds of honourable and acceptable political conduct with the senseless call for the impeachment of a President who continues to sincerely devote himself to the discharge of the sacred mandate freely given to him by Nigerians.
“The APC, which remains a minority party with doubtful credentials in the National Assembly, knows fully well that its attempt to hector and blackmail a parliament dominated by loyal members of the President’s party, the PDP, into an impeachment process, will come to nothing.
“But it has cavalierly embarked on this outrageous gambit, with scant regard for peace, order, security and political stability in the country in furtherance of its dastardly and heinous strategy of over-heating the polity and working to cause public disaffection against the Jonathan Presidency with lies, false accusations and unjustifiable indictments ahead of the 2015 general elections.”
The Presidency said it considered it deplorable that the APC had in its Machiavellian desperation recklessly assailed the integrity and honour of the judiciary.
It added, “We have noted the undisguised threat by the APC to foster public insurrection against the Federal Government if pending legal cases go against it.
“We dismiss the APC’s call for the President’s impeachment as opportunistic, partisan and ill-motivated.”
The PDP also described the call by the APC as “irresponsible, malicious and self-seeking.”
“The call is part of the plan by the APC to truncate this democracy and we will not allow it, ” the PDP spokesperson, Chief Olisa Metuh, said.
He added, “The APC had planned to cause mayhem during the governorship election in Anambra State, but God did not allow that to happen.
“Its members want to engineer turmoil and breakdown of law and order in the country. They know that they cannot win the 2015 general elections because Nigerians have rejected them.”
Metuh asked Nigerians to be wary of the activities of the members of the opposition party.
He also called on them to hold the opposition party responsible for any breakdown of law and order in the country.
Source ; Punch.