A leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, has asked Nigerians to hold President Goodluck Jonathan responsible for Thursday’s invasion on the National Assembly Complex in Abuja by the police.
The complex was thrown into turmoil when the police blocked the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, and other lawmakers from accessing the complex to consider the president’s request for the extension of emergency rule in the three northeast states of Yobe, Adamawa and Borno.
Mr. Tambuwal had last month decamped to the APC from the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Jonathan’s party.
Mr. Tinubu alleged in a statement on Friday by his media office that the president and his men, whom he did not name, had a hand in the crisis.
He argued that no police chief would embark on such action as they did on Thursday without taking orders from their superior or from some authorities.
“No Commissioner of Police will ever embark on such an action without the clearance of the Inspector General of police and no IGP will order his men out here without approval by the Presidency. Nigerians know where the buck stops,” he said.
“The Jonathan Presidency must take full responsibility for the attack on the leadership of the National Assembly,” he said.
“This government cannot claim to be unaware of what the police would do. This gangster’s antic occurred almost at their doorstep. The Jonathan presidency can no longer play ignorance regarding the noxious things done for partisan ends.”
Mr. Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, said by deploying hundreds of police to prevent Mr. Tambuwal from entering the National Assembly, the President had revealed his hand to be a devious one.
He lamented that having asked the Speaker to convene the House to consider extending the state of emergency in the three troubled state, the Jonathan government went ahead to deploy the nation’s police to stop the speaker from entering his place of work.
“Tambuwal did not have to accede to the presidential request to reconvene the House; but because he is a statesman and not a political hack, he assented so his chamber might consider this a matter of vital national importance.
“Despite the removal of the Policemen and Security team around him he still proceeded at great personal risk to answer the call of duty. He took the risk, believing his personal situation was a secondary thing when the fate of the nation comes into question.”
The APC leader noted that instead of seriously treating Boko Haram’s incursion against the internal security, the president’s men decided to turn the event into a partisan and embarrassing circus.
He added, “Perhaps they saw this as a birthday present to Mr. President. But it is nothing but brigandage masquerading as governance. What this Presidency does not realize is how terribly it has exposed its pettiness and dictatorial penchant for elevating narrow political interests above the fate of the nation.
“There is little wonder the nation is losing ground to Boko Haram. This government has allowed and even welcomed the downward slide. If seriously committed to breaking the spine of this insurgency, the Jonathan government would have ensured that the House met without disturbance or partisan rancour.”
“Instead, Jonathan and his men used the gravest armed threat the nation has suffered in forty years, to lay a partisan political trap for one single man instead of allowing the House to deliberate for the good of 170 million people hoping for a way out of the growing carnage.”
Mr. Tinubu, a Third Republic senator, said the conduct of the presidency showed that whenever dire national interest conflict with that of individual ambitions, the former would be rejected to violently promote the latter.
He stated that “the priorities of the Jonathan Presidency are as wrong as wrong can get. Their actions are devoid of national purpose. They reek of pungent ambition. A weakness of character now permeates national leadership.”
The former governor said the Presidency leaves the nation’s grave problems unattended yet has the rashness to create new ones by trashing the nation’s democratic institutions and mocking constitutional checks and balances.
According to him, the most notable achievement of the Jonathan government had been to bring democracy to its knees, stressing “This is not the hallmark of a President but the work of a potentate.”
Mr. Tinubu said while enjoying the taste of the cheap tactical victory, it is hoped Nigerians and the international community are sampling the bigger picture.
He said in trying to quash the opposition by all means necessary, the Jonathan government unleashed forces they do not even recognize let alone be able to control them.