The Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, TAN, has said it has no apology for organising zonal rallies urging President Goodluck Jonathan to seek re-election.
The group said it has not offended any Nigeria law by holding the rallies and that the attack by the All Progressives Congress, APC, on its activities was misplaced.
It asked the party to look inward if its activities were causing discomfort in the camp of the opposition.
A statement by the APC spokesperson, Lai Mohammed, Wednesday, had praised Mr. Jonathan for ordering the removal of the #BringBackJonathan2015, a mock hashtag of the #BringBackOurGirls that has helped drawn global attention to the fate of the Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram in April.
The APC however asked the president to also order TAN to halt its rallies. Many Nigerians have condemned the group over its political campaigns at a time Nigeria faces an Ebola outbreak and a serious security trouble.
Stating that the country was in a state of anarchy, the APC said, “Therefore this cannot be the time for festivities and celebrations, the type being orchestrated by the government under the TAN banner. The rallies insult the troops who are battling Boko Haram. The rallies insult Nigerians who are fervently praying for the unity of the nation in the face of the madness by the marauders. The rallies offend the sensibilities of the families of our citizens who are being mowed down daily by Boko Haram. They must stop forthwith.”
However, in a statement by its Director of Communications, Udenta Udenta, on Thursday, TAN said Mr. Mohammed exposed the APC’s double standard when he found the group’s citizens’ sensitization rallies uncharitable 24 hours after his party held an unvarnished political rally in Sokoto State.
It said, “As a non-governmental organization properly registered by Corporate Affairs Commission to carry out specific responsibilities in the ongoing political re-engineering in the country, TAN has not in any way gone outside the law to warrant APC’s indecorous language.
If the impact of TAN is causing some discomfort to the opposition party in its desperation to grab power, it should look inward and not engage in mindless attacks.
“Was the country not in a war as APC claimed, when it embarked in the Sokoto rally? Has Ebola virus suddenly disappeared in the country that enabled the Sokoto rally to take place?
“Where and how did Lai Mohammed arrive at his conclusion that TAN’s rallies are offending the sensibilities of the families of our citizens and knows that Sokoto rally did not? Why did APC hold the Sokoto rally when the Chibok Girls are yet to be released and Boko Haram is not defeated?”
TAN, which has held the rallies in the South East and South West geo-political zones, explained that it is not a political party and would ordinarily not engage in diatribes with any political party or group. It however said it would not watch truth being turned upside down in the name of politics.
The group added, “We really have no apology to offer to anyone in our mission of showcasing the verifiable landmark achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan. We expected the opposition to fault us on that score but because of the dearth of evidence against what we are heralding; they now choose to chase shadow by dishing lies to Nigerians.
“Because TAN by its vigorous activities is not letting APC realize its desired ambition of making sure that all achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan are drowned in its negative politics and insipient media, it now feels it can turn the heat on us. TAN certainly would go to any length to defend its legitimate role in the polity and would not shy away even if it means confronting and exposing APC’s anti-democratic behaviour.
“The innovation that TAN is bringing into the nation’s political space should attract positive comments to discerning minds. If anybody is uncomfortable, it must be based on selfish ground.”
TAN also said that since its inception, it has maintained a positive attitude and disposition towards all Nigerian institutions and platforms in a single-minded celebration of the Nigerian possibility under President Jonathan’s watch, devoid of rancour, strife, bitterness and discord by its callous abandonment of the tenets of decency and respect that ought to govern the public advocacy space through its revolting diatribes and unconscionable attacks against it.