by Stanley Azuakola
Agreed, we have seen stranger things in Nigerian politics, but this one ranks quite high in the strange-o-meter.
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the party of Bola Tinubu and Lai Mohammed, the party of stringent and consistent anti-Jonathan rhetoric and press releases, have come out to take sides in the pseudo-battle between the Rivers governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan. And they chose Jonathan.
Before the context and content of this Jonathan support is looked into, it might perhaps help one more easily assimilate the news when you understand that it’s the Rivers chapter of the party and not the national ACN, which we are talking about here.
Still, the party is one, right?
In a statement released by the party’s Rivers publicity secretary, Jerry Needam, the party accused Amaechi of using his position as NGF chairman to harass and intimidate his perceived political enemies.
They called on both the National Assembly and the Rivers State House of Assembly to assert their authority and cut down the overbearing influence of the governor.
The overbearing influence the ACN was referring to is Amaechi’s leverage as chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).
According to the statement, “The governor of Rivers State is using the forum to push for his personal presidential agenda which is not healthy for Nigeria’s nascent democracy. The only constitutionally recognised groups to check against the excesses of the executive and any abuse of office are the legislature and the judiciary, both of which operate under the critical and prying eyes of virile opposition as a democratic feature.
“The only constitutionally recognised groups to check against the excesses of the executive and any abuse of office are the legislature and the judiciary, both of which operate under the critical and prying eyes of virile opposition as a democratic feature.”
Then the party hit at Amaechi for his alleged attacks against the president. The ACN accused the governor of hiding under the NGF to attack President Goodluck Jonathan, lawmakers, as well as appoint and sack elected local government chairmen at will.
Amaechi, the party alleged, was out to antagonise efforts of the federal government and people of the state.
It said: “We believe that the Governors’ Forum is a parallel federal government in Nigeria, and the chairman, Amaechi, a parallel president in the country, and must be stopped before they push the country into strangulation, having stagnated the economy already.”