NGF election has taught the president that there is a limit to the abuse of power.
The Action Congress of Nigeria has described as a bad omen for the 2015 general elections, the rejection of the result of the Nigerian Governors Forum, by governors, who according to the party “are undoubtedly acting the script written for them by the presidency and the leadership of the (Peoples Democratic Party) PDP.”
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said the message from the presidency, and the “puppet governors”, to the nation is that the outcome of the 2015 elections will only be valid if a certain candidate emerges the winner.
”If an election involving only 35 governors can generate so much controversy and threaten to overheat the polity, what will happen when millions of Nigerians vote in 2015? Is this how President Goodluck Jonathan, who is the godfather of the losing governors, has been sanitizing the electoral process as he has been enthusing?” the party asked.
“The show of shame by the bad losers supporting Governor Jonah Jang, ofcourse at the behest of the presidency, is an extension of the threat that has been issued by some rabble-rousers that it is either Jonathan for 2015 or there will be no Nigeria as we know it.
“This is the ‘Gbagbo Option’ that plunged Cote d’Ivoire into a crisis in which it is yet to fully emerge. This is what the puppet governors are pushing for, hence they must be called to order urgently,” the statement said.
The election, conducted on Friday, has stirred immense controversy after Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state was declared winner. He defeated Plateau state’s Jonah Jang 19 to 16. Mr. Jang has led more than a dozen governors to reject the results, and has declared himself the winner.
The ACN said the governors’ claim that the election was rigged because the ballot papers were not serialized, was meaningless since they first agreed to take part in the poll.
”Couldn’t they have raised an objection and refused to participate? Were they dragged to the venue of the polls screaming and kicking? If so where is the evidence that they were forced to act against their will?” it queried.
ACN also condemned the “meddlesomeness” of the presidency in the election of what is not, in reality, more than a social club; and particularly criticized Mr. Jonathan, as the leader of his party and of the country, for expending so much of the little goodwill he has on the NGF elections.
”Irrespective of the tepid denial by the presidency, Nigerians are aware that the arrowhead of the puppet governors, Governor Godswill Akpabio, is acting at the behest of the presidency. What President Jonathan did by his meddlesomeness is to stake his presidency on the NGF elections, thereby making the elections a referendum on his leadership of his party and country. In both instances, he got the outcome he deserved: A leader who cannot hold his party together cannot hold a nation together,” the party said.
Lesson to learn
ACN said the outcome of the NGF election has taught the president that there is a limit to the abuse of power.
”And here are some of the lessons that the presidency should learn, if it so wishes, from the outcome of the NGF elections: there is always a limit to hubris and the use of naked power against perceived opponents. Needless to say that latent power is more potent than naked power. A leader should never do things just because he can,” they said.
Adding that “the presidency and the ruling party have lost control of themselves. They are bound to also lose control of the nation -democratically – in 2015. Make no mistake about it!”
Meanwhile, the ACN has called for a probe of the apparently forged document being circulated by the losing governors to show they had harvested the signatures of 18 governors pushing for a consensus candidate just before the elections.
ACN advised Mr. Akpabio and his group to accept the result of the NGF elections instead of threatening to break the NGF – and overheat the polity – just to satisfy their masters, saying national interest should supersede parochial interest.