• Shifts party’s convention to May
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has again raised the alarm over an alleged plan by the presidency to impose a total state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, describing it as a smokescreen to remove the democratically-elected governors of the APC states.
The party at the ninth meeting of its interim National Executive Committee (NEC) held yesterday in Abuja, resolved to further put forward its national convention to May 24, while the ward, local government and state congresses are fixed for April, 5, 12 and 23 respectively.
THISDAY gathered that the reason for the shift in dates for the congresses and convention from the earlier date of March and April was because the party could not finalise modalities for the exercise.
Addressing journalists at the party headquarters, the interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, said it had come to the notice of the party that as part of its pursuit of vendetta against those who are critical over federal government’s approach to tackle terrorists insurgency in the North-east, the presidency was plotting to remove the governors of the three states of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno.
“It has come to our notice that, in pursuant of the Presidency’s stance to label anyone who offers it any advice on how to curtail the terrorists attack and boost the morale of our gallant troops, the imposition of a total state of emergency is being considered for Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, which is a smokescreen to remove the democratically-elected governors of these APC states,” he said.
He said the party’s interim NEC is condemning the move unequivocally and “is urging President Goodluck Jonathan to jettison the idea, if indeed it is being remotely contemplated, because it will not advance the cause of peace in the affected states”.
The communique issued at the end of the NEC meeting also condemned the needless deaths of the country’s youths, which it said, resulted from a combination of exploitation, corruption, greed and incompetence of the relevant authorities.
APC said the incident represents a needless violation of the peoples’ right to life and dignity.
It called for a criminal investigation to unravel the circumstances that led to the deaths of those innocent Nigerians, to find out who authorised the fleecing of job seekers by a government agency, what happened to the money realised from the heist.
“Out of sheer greed, N1,000 each was collected from the over 770,000 unemployed applicants shortlisted. The Jonathan led PDP government therefore fleeced unemployed youths and their parents of N770 million, using a consultant as conduit. Even then, the available vacancies of about 4,500 have already been filled through the back door by over 3,000 candidates of PDP apparatchik and government officials.”
“The pervasive corruption and incompetence that have become the hallmarks of the Jonathan administration paved the way for this unprecedented greed in which hapless job seekers were extorted by the same government that has failed to provide jobs for them. Yet, this government has no social security or any form of safety net for the vulnerable army of the unemployed.
“It should be made clear that this government encourages and baby sits corruption stealing not only from the pension fund of Nigerian citizens, but also from the unemployed and from our collective patrimony, the NNPC, ” it said.
The party also condemned what it described as ferocious attacks and blackmail mounted against the suspended Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, for crying out over alleged missing oil money.
“How someone who publicly disclosed the brazen theft of $20 billion dollars from NNPC become a candidate for character assassination and blackmail is questionable and condemnable. Sanusi’s suspension is an affront to law and a threat to Nigeria’s institutional stability. This is also a government of double standard.
“We urge our compatriots not to despair or give up hope, because salvation is in the horizon. The APC today embodies the hopes and aspirations of our long-suffering people. We have no doubt that this country can and will work again, and we are up to the task of restoring hope to our beleaguered people, ” it said.
The meeting was attended by members of the party’s interim national leadership led by Chief Bisi Akande, Governors Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti).
The national leaders of the party also present were Bola Tinubu, General Mohammed Buhari, Senator Alli Modu Sheriff, Chief Ogbonnoya Onu, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, Chief Olusegun Osoba, Senator Saraki, Senator Goje and other members of national interim executive of the party.