The Presidency has cautioned the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Nigeria’s main opposition party, and its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, against ‘disrespecting the office of the President and the person of President Goodluck Jonathan’.
The warning was contained in a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, on Thursday in Abuja.
Mr. Abati, who was reacting to a statement made by Mr. Mohammed on Wednesday, said that it was full of disparaging words about the office and person of the President.
“The ACN spokesman obviously went overboard in the statement he made on Wednesday.
“In the statement, Mohammed advised President Jonathan ‘to take a long, hard look at himself in the mirror if he truly wants to see the face of a party leader who is fast turning his party into a one-man show’, because the President said his party, the PDP, is the only truly democratic party in Nigeria.
“We consider this denigration of the office and person of the President in the name of opposition politics, as clearly unhealthy politics and completely tactless,’’ Mr. Abati said.
The presidential spokesman said the Mr. Mohammed had repeatedly resorted to personal attacks and disparaging remarks about the person and office of the President.
“The office of the president is a national institution that must survive its temporary occupants.
“Those who seem to be deriving childish excitement from attacking the President, under the guise of playing politics, should refrain from bringing that institution into disrepute,’’ he said.
Mr. Abati noted that the description of the PDP as the only truly democratic party by the President, should be seen as a wake-up call to other political parties, as well as political leaders, to live out their democratic pretensions in the full glare of the public.
He contended that the denigration of the office and person of the President in the name of opposition politics was uncalled for.