The group said there are valid reasons to doubt Mr Jonathan’s sincerity about the proposed national conference
The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to address the core issues raised by a former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, on the proposed national conference, instead of attacking Mr Tinubu for holding a differing view.
Mr Tinubu, had described the planned conference announced by the president on Independence Day, as a Greek Gift, diversionary and deceptive. He also alleged that the dialogue was aimed at promoting Mr Jonathan’s 2015 presidential ambition.
However, Mr Jonathan, in his Sallah message to the nation on Monday, debunked the former governor’s claim, saying he decided to convoke the conference in keeping with his avowed commitment and firm belief in the right to freedom of expression and the right of all people in a democracy to make choices on how they wish to live and be governed.
Presidential aide, Doyin Okupe, on the same day, said Mr Tinubu’s assertion that the national conversation was tainted with selfish motive, was purely conjectural and in the realm of speculation.
The CNPP, in a statement by its spokesperson, Osita Okechukwu on Wednesday, said the questions raised by the former Lagos State Governor and other patriots should be answered by the president because they were in tandem with its own position.
“We listened carefully to the statement made by Tinubu on his arrival from medical trip abroad, and it is in tandem with CNPP’s position that President Jonathan is deceptively building bridge to nowhere; as we cannot locate how the resolutions of the conference will work outside the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, without a Sovereign National Conference,” the group said.
It described as a farce, the allegation by the presidency that the former governor, also a leader of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, was only thinking about the 2015 general elections while most patriotic ordinary Nigerians were concerned with the emergence of a united country based on equity and justice.
CNPP said the elections held higher hope for the ordinary Nigerian’s aspiration for regime change.
“Accordingly, our understanding is that Asiwaju, outside the diversionary and deceptive outlook of President Goodluck Jonathan’s conference, is worried over the credibility, reliability and capability of Mr President to pull Nigeria through to a free, fair and transparent 2015 general elections,” the group said.
“CNPP pages with Asiwaju on the truism that Mr President’s failure to pull through of the unintended consequences of the conference may hazard and scuttle the 2015 general election, especially when ethnic merchants dominate the 13 Man-Prep-Committee.
“This fear can be located on how President Jonathan had demonstrated gross ineptitude and incapacity to manage his political party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.”
The CNPP wondered how Mr Jonathan could mobilize PDP members in the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly to amend the 1999 Constitution and accommodate issues that would be raised by the National Conference while the ruling party was in tatters.
The group asked Mr Jonathan to explain how the self-determination agitation of the Ijaw National Congress, IJN, a socio-cultural organization of the Ijaw nation to which the president belong, and other ethnic nationalities, would be handled, if the president was not bidding Nigeria good-bye.
The group also expressed doubt if Nigerians could trust Mr Jonathan who it said could not implement the recommendations of some committees set up to address salient issues in the country.
It said, “Alternatively for the avoidance of doubt, can rational patriotic Nigerians bank on a president who up to date woefully failed to address the core recommendations of the Uwais Electoral Reform Report, Lemu’s post-2011-general elections-Crisis Report, Ambassador Galtimari Boko Haram Report, Orosanya Report and honour the 2009 ASUU agreement and implement the 2012 MOU with the union?”
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