The opposition Congress for Progressive Change has hit back at President Goodluck Jonathan, describing him as clannish, corrupt and inept in the manner he has so far run the country.
In a tersely worded statement Wednesday afternoon, the party, founded by former head of state, Muhammadu Buhari shortly before the 2011 elections, said Mr. Jonathan had become more dangerous and deadly to the country, surrounding himself only with people from his Ijaw ethnic group and manipulating the Christian Association of Nigeria to demonise Mr. Buhari.
The statement, which is in response to that of the presidency, which described Mr. Buhari as a serial election loser renowned for inflaming violence in the country, said the president had done more damage to Nigeria than the extremist Boko Haram sect.
The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) made the remarks in response to the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and President Goodluck Jonathan which had in separate statements Tuesday attacked the former head of state over a comment credited to him that rigging of the 2015 elections would be met with stiff resistance.
Mr. Buhari also described the Jonathan-led government as Nigeria’s biggest and most dangerous Boko Haram
In its statement Wednesday, the CPC declared support for Mr. Buhari’s widely publicized declaration that there would be serious crisis in 2015 if the elections are rigged.
“We stand unwaveringly by the statement credited to GMB [General Muhammadu Buhari],” the party said.
Speaking through a press release by its National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin, the CPC also launched a barrage of counter-accusations against the PDP, describing the President Jonathan’s administration ‘the most corrupt’ in Nigeria’s history.
“On Corruption, the Jonathan administration transcends all others before it! Nigerians are still befuddled by the impeachable show of arbitrariness by the regime in expending N2.67Trillion on fuel subsidy instead of the appropriated N240Billion in the 2011 appropriation act,” Mr. Fashakin said.
The CPC, in the statement signed by its spokesperson, Rotimi Fashakin, also responded in details to some of the accusations made by the PDP on Monday, where the ruling party described Mr. Buhari of being ‘blood-thirsty’.
The party said contrary to the president’s insinuation that Mr. Buhari is a regional leader, Mr. Jonathan is a far more clannish and ethnically biased figure.
According to Mr. Fashakin, as Head of State, Mr. Buhari’s Minister for Petroleum was Tam David West, “a Kalabari man in Rivers state”. Mr. Fashakin said President Jonathan had failed to act in a similar fashion.
“All the appointees as Oil ministers in his two-year reign thus far as President of Nigeria have been Nigerians of Ijaw extraction, like himself.”
The CPC also accused Mr. Jonathan of trying in vain to come to the defence of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), a militant group that claimed responsibility for the Octber 1, 2010 bombings in Abuja.
The CPC described MEND as a “militant group from Dr Good-luck Jonathan’s ethnic extraction”.
“On October 1, 2010, there was a bomb blast during the year’s independence anniversary celebrations, with attendant deaths of many Nigerians. Without waiting for any preliminary report from the Security Agencies, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, as President, told a traumatized Nation, ‘it is not MEND!’,” the CPC said.
CPC also came down hard on the president’s spokesperson, Reuben Abati, who it said did not seem to understand the real meaning of Boko Haram as postulated by Mr. Buhari.
“In a jejune, puerile, and very pedestrian communication, the presidential spokesman defined Boko-Haram as ‘Western education is sin’ and went on to posit the administration’s investment in Education. How awkwardly inane could that be?
“As GMB aptly stated, Boko Haram has three variants, with varying degrees of severity and murderous content: the original Boko-haram that seeks to avenge the extra-judicial killing of its Leader by the Nigeria Police; the Boko Haram that pursues criminality for monetary gains and of course, the Political Boko-haram that is bent on setting the stage for ethno-religious pogrom in the Nigerian nation. It is the Political Boko Haram, with its extremely lethal content, that the Jonathan-led Federal Government represents,” Mr. Fashakin said.
In order to prove Mr. Buhari’s claim that the government is the real Boko Haram, Mr. Fashakin outlined a number of instances to buttress the claim.
“In January 2012, Dr Good-luck Jonathan told a bewildered nation, still smarting from murderous Bombings, that his government has been infiltrated by Boko Haram.
“In February 2012, a serving PDP senator from Borno South (Mohammed Ali Ndume) was arrested for being a member of Boko Haram.
“In March 2012, Ndume deposed to an affidavit before a Federal High Court wherein he stated that Vice-President Namadi Sambo was aware of his activities with Boko Haram.
“In April 2012, General Andrew Owoeye Azazi, the National Security Adviser, averred that there was indisputable proof that Boko Haram is PDP. As things stand, President Good-luck Jonathan is the national leader of PDP.
“In April 2012, Henry Okah (while standing trial on Terrorism charges) deposed to an affidavit before a South African court that President Good-luck Jonathan was the sponsor of the October 1, 2010 bombing at Eagle square. It is on record that as governor of a Niger-delta state, Dr Good-luck Jonathan (together with his brother governors) had used the MEND to command the attention of the Nigerian state”.