* Denies disagreement between President Jonathan and Gov Amaechi * Jonathan Not A Despot, ACN Is The Real Abode Of Budding Despots In Nigeria

Presidency Replies ACN. Reuben Abati.

The Presidency has finally replied allegations by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) that there is no disagreement between President Goodluck Jonathan and Rivers state Governor Rotimi Amaechi.

It stated that such an allegation by the opposition party is “wrong-headed and mischievous”.  

This is even as it replied yet another allegation made by the ACN saying this administration was ?descending into despotism? stating that this was another attempt to indulge in the politics of abuse.

Speaking in a Press statement, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Rueben Abati said Governor Amaechi had publicly stated that this particular allegation is a piece of fiction created by certain persons and the media. 

“We insist that President Jonathan is not engaged in any quarrel or dispute with Governor Amaechi. And it is wrong to use the matter of the aircraft that was grounded by the aviation authorities to concoct stories of persecution” Abati said.
He further explained that the institutions involved had offered reasons publicly why they took their decision with regard to the unlicensed aircraft, “which in any case is an asset of the state, not the Governor?s personal property. The President has nothing to do with that incident”.
He said the ACN claims that there is ?a growing propensity to stifle the freedom of expression and freedom of the press. The report by the Committee to Protect Journalists which the ACN quotes is not a comment on government-media relations in Nigeria. This administration sees the media as a strategic partner in the business of nation-building. The government not only enjoys a robust relationship with the media, it continues to encourage. the freedom of expression and of the press.
“Lai Mohammed tries to substantiate his dubious claim by seeking to build something on nothing. He tries in vain. The truth is that the Nigerian media is pluralistic, vibrant, independent and free; it has grown in scope, size and in terms of the freedom to practise under this administration” he added .
Responding to the recent statement by the ACN that President Jonathan’s administration ?descending into despotism? Abati said “Does Lai Mohammed know the meaning of the word, despotism, or is he just throwing the word around for onomatopoetic effect? He and his sponsors are in fact beneficiaries of the openness and freedom that this administration promotes. The paradox is that those who do not allow freedom and equality in their own party or backyard, those who are well known as self-proclaimed Godfathers and closet despots, are the same ones who are now quick to accuse others of despotism”. 

Abati further pointed that the ACN should start by removing the log in its own eyes as “President Jonathan is not a despot. ACN is the real abode of budding despots in Nigeria” .
He further stated that the President is a democratically elected leader who is running a people-oriented, inclusive and progressive government and that Under his watch, Nigeria?s democracy has been consolidated; the scope for human freedoms has been further expanded and there is respect for due process and the rule of law.

” Ordinary Nigerians appreciate the fact that they have a President who is humane, disciplined and focused” he said adding that “the Transformation Agenda which Lai Mohammed tries to pooh-pooh is a well thought-out blueprint on the basis of which this administration continues to serve the interests of the people and move the country forward. The evidence of the Jonathan administration?s achievements is visible in many aspects of Nigerian life and society: from agriculture, to aviation, the economy, job creation, power, industry, trade and investment, transportation and others. No amount of name-calling or partisan criticism will distract the government?s attention, just in case the ACN assumes that its persistent distortion of the facts will achieve that objective.
“All lovers of democracy must join us in reminding the ACN and its spokespersons that they cannot pull down this house with mere spittle because our democracy is strong and solid and the man at the helm of affairs is a democrat and a progressive leader”.
Abati also responded to a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) which he said grumbled that President Jonathan ought to have visited Baga in Borno state, following the incident of  April 16.
He said it was in the character of the CPC and its spokesperson to play to the gallery even when the occasion calls for maturity and sobriety. 

According to him “the problem with them is that they consider everything ?very unacceptable?, and in particular everything relating to President Jonathan. They deserve our sympathy.
“If they care to know, President Jonathan has been very pro-active in dealing with the Baga incident. He ordered an immediate probe by the Military High Command and the intervention of rescue and aid agencies, who have been working with the Borno state government and other agencies of state to ensure that the victims are rehabilitated and assisted with relief materials.
“The reports of the investigations by the Military High Command and the National Emergency Management Agency have since been made public.
“President Jonathan has described the incident as most unfortunate and regrettable and he has made it clear that where there is any established case of misconduct, justice will be done. He has also welcomed the plan by the National Human Rights Commission to carry out independent investigations. He continues to receive regular briefings on the incident, even as he has directed the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development to come up with an assistance programme for the displaced persons in Baga.
“These steps surely do not give an impression of ?insensitivity or aloofness?. Rather, it is the CPC that is being insensitive by struggling to make cheap political gain out of this”.


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