The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described the statements made by former Head of states and presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the 2011 general elections, Muhammadu Buhari on Monday as being in order.
In a press statement issued on Tuesday in Osogbo, the Osun state capital, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, said that considering the massive rigging of the 2011 general elections, irrespective of the so-called endorsement by some visceral foreign election monitors, Buhari’s statement was apt.
The ACN also said it “denounced the crude, vitriolic and impudent verbal attack on a former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, by the presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for no other reason than his timely warning against election rigging in 2015.”
The party said the statement for which Buhari is now being mercilessly savaged was nothing but a warning against those who may be planning to rig the 2015 general elections, hence should not have rankled anyone who believes in free, fair and transparent polls.
The former head of state had warned that the rigging and violence associated with the 2011 general elections will be repected in 2015 if President Goodluck Jonathan continue his style of governance which does not “listen to advice”.
The ACN said the viciousness of the seemingly coordinated attacks by the presidency and the PDP raise a lot of concern regarding their plans for the 2015 elections.
“We hold no brief for anyone. But it is true that if elections are rigged, as they have been so shamelessly and brazenly done by the PDP since 1999, naturally people will react, and in doing so it is impossible for anyone to predict how far things can go. This is what, in our opinion, Gen. Buhari warned against. If the presidency and the PDP have no intention to rig in 2015, why are they so worried about the consequences of such action?” ACN said.
“The 2011 elections also left Nigeria divided along ethnic and religious lines, more than at any other time in the history of Nigeria, hence no one should tell us about the polls being the best since Nigeria returned to civil rule, just because some self-acclaimed monitors said so!” ACN said.
The party also expressed serious concern at the growing propensity of the presidency, in particular, to use intemperate language in its response to any statement it perceives to be critical of its principal.
“We have said it before and we will like to repeat it: any statement emanating from the presidency must be presidential through the use of civilised and elevating language… This is because such statements are read all over the world, and provide a window into the minds of those overseeing the affairs of state.
“The voice of the presidential spokesman is the voice of his principal, the President. That is why his statements must be sober and guarded, in addition to reflecting deep introspection. The insults heaped on Gen. Buhari, a former Head of State – for merely exercising his right to freedom of speech is totally unacceptable and run against the tenets of decorum and mature political discourse,” it said.