President Goodluck Jonathan has taken a swipe at the interim chairman of the new All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande for denigrating comments directed at the presidency.
Reacting to a statement credited to Akande where he referred to President Jonathan ‘kindergarten’ leader, the Presidency on Sunday expressed dismay over the mischievous attempts by the party to promote itself by attacking the integrity of the president.
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, the president said, although the APC leader and his party has the right to claim that they will floor the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 elections, he does not have the same right to tell lies, denigrate the office and person of the president.
The presidency therefore told Akande to respect truth,his age, and the country.
“We have noted with dismay the continuation of efforts by leaders of the opposition to promote themselves and their party through the irresponsible denigration of President Goodluck Jonathan and the exalted Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” a statement by presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati, said Sunday.
“The interim national chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande sank to a new low in this regard yesterday when he rudely and falsely described President Jonathan as a “kindergarten” leader who treats national issues with levity.
“Chief Bisi Akande has every right to embark on a flight of fancy about the APC beating the PDP in the 2015 general elections, but he does no justice to his age and status when he resorts to propagating falsehood, wilfully insulting the President of his country, impugning his integrity and desecrating the very office which his party wishes to take over in 2015 by fair or foul means.
“We urge Chief Akande and his fellow-travellers to remember that there are laws against libel and defamation of character in this country even if there are no legal impediments to indecorous, hypocritical and unpatriotic vituperations.
“It is certainly rude, ill-mannered, uncharitable and hypocritical for Chief Akande to falsely and cavalierly allege that a President who toils tirelessly every day of the week, evolving and implementing workable solutions to Nigeria’s problems, is handling national issues with levity.”
“Also, nothing else but gross ignorance and lack of consideration could have led Chief Akande to refer to a President who, having served as deputy governor, governor, vice president and president, has far more experience of governance at the highest level than him and his preferred “candidates”, as a kindergarten leader,” the statement continued.
“By his very unguarded and intemperate outburst yesterday, Chief Akande exhibited not only an unbecoming lack of respect for the person and office of the President of his country, but also a complete disregard for the patriotic feelings of the millions of Nigerians who voted for President Jonathan and who continue to appreciate his sincere efforts to positively transform the nation.
“It is very sad and unfortunate that unbridled ambition for the office they constantly impugn and denigrate has blinded Chief Akande and his ilk to the visible accomplishments of the Jonathan Presidency.
“Certainly, nothing else but a manic and unscrupulous quest for power could have led them to make such accusations against a President who, who amongst other significant achievements, has been praised for his handling of the insurgency in some parts of Northern Nigeria where he has used a combination of diplomacy and targeted military force to contain the security threat.”
Chief Bisi Akande had Saturday, while speaking to journalists in his Ila-Orangun country home, criticized the president’s failure to tackle the array of needs facing the country including breakdown in infrastructure, insecurity and political impunity, dismissing President Goodluck Jonathan as an “unserious-minded president” who runs a “kindergarten presidency”.
“I have my reasons not to admire President Goodluck Jonathan. I have not found him to be a serious-minded leader. Jonathan is Nigeria’s problem today. He is not a thinking leader.
“I have had two meetings with him since 2011. I have had a long telephone conversation with him. I have written him twice discussing the serious challenges facing the country but he has not found the courtesy to reply. He has reduced governance to kindergarten level. He is not serious-minded,” Akande said.