Libel: Go to court, APC dares Jonathan

An unrepentant All Progressives Congress (APC) fired back on Monday at President Goodluck Jonathan to reiterate the characterisation by its Chairman, Bisi Akande, of the Jonathan Presidency as being no more than a “kindergarten.”
In fact, the party challenged Jonathan to a legal turf, asking him to go to court if he (Jonathan) felt libelled by such description of his Presidency.
The Interim National Chairman of the APC had during a chat with newsmen in his country home, Ila-Orangun, Osun State, described Jonathan as a “kindergarten leader who treats national issues with levity,” a description that drew the ire of the Presidency.
But in a statement issued from Accra, Ghana, on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, APC insisted that “Akande merely told the truth by his characterisation of the Jonathan Presidency.”
‘’Isn’t truth a defence to libel?” the party asked, add

ing that there was nothing strange or wrong in criticising a democratically elected President because “after all he is neither an Imperial President, a Monarchy nor an Emperor.”
The party said nothing confirmed Akande’s assertion that Jonathan was running a kindergarten Presidency “than the crude manner it (Presidency) responded to the frank but constructive criticism by the APC National Chairman.”

‘’In the true character of this Presidency, its increasingly irreverent and undignified spokesman failed to respond to the issues raised by Chief Akande, and instead chose to haul abuses at a man who is old enough to be his father.
“Such irresponsible act does no credit to the spokesman or the President he is serving, and Nigerians will definitely not forget such crudity in a hurry.
‘’Where is the Presidency’s response to Chief Akande’s assertion that he has written two letters to the President over the serious challenges facing the country, without getting a response?
“Where is the Presidency’s response to Chief Akande’s assertion that President Jonathan is witch-hunting political opponents? These are the issues that Nigerians are interested in, not how many hours the President sleeps at night because he is supposedly working tirelessly.
‘’In any case, if indeed this President is working tirelessly, we need to ask who he is working for, because Nigerians have yet to feel the impact of his administration.
“They are also not interested in the fact that the President once served as a Deputy Governor, Governor and Vice President, because the experiences he supposedly garnered from doing so have not impacted positively on his duty as President.
“That’s not a surprise, considering that the President owes his meteoric rise in politics to luck and destiny. Nothing else!’’ the APC said.
It described Jonathan’s Presidency as “an under-achieving one, always eager to celebrate tokenism, using questionable statistics.”
‘’As the Presidency was composing its empty response to the serious issues raised by our highly-respected Chairman, the African Development Bank was saying in its annual report (African Economic Outlook), quoted by the local media on Sunday, that the proportion of people (Nigerians) living below the national poverty line has worsened from 65.5 per cent in 1996 to 69.0 per cent in 2010, most of those years under the PDP and the last four under President Jonathan.
‘’What therefore is there to celebrate in a Presidency under which power generation has fallen to 2,500mw?
“What is there to celebrate in a Presidency that has only given Nigerians widespread insecurity, unemployment, dilapidated infrastructure, oil theft and unbridled corruption?
“Of what use is the touted of 6 per cent increase in the GDP when over 40 per cent of our youths are unemployed?” APC queried.
The party described as a figment of the Presidency’s imagination the claim of a feud between its (APC’s) leaders – Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Muhammadu Buhari.
It said the PDP and the Presidency have been peddling lies over a phantom feud because they could not fathom how the leadership of the APC could put national interest above personal considerations.
‘’Mr. President, don’t let your lick-spittle aides deceive you. There is absolutely no feud between the two leaders. Waiting for such a feud is like ‘Waiting for Godot’,’’ it added.
In a related development, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State said on Monday in Maiduguri that the APC will adopt a new leadership style and offer exemplary leadership to Nigerians. He told newsmen that the party will tackle poverty in the country by addressing its underlining causes.
“Governance is not about having large sums of money in bank accounts, it is about changing people’s lives for the better. “The APC will no doubt meet the aspirations of the people, especially those at the grassroots by improving their living conditions,’’ he said. Shettima assured that the party would create jobs in all sectors of the economy to address the causes of poverty at the grassroots level.
“We have to evolve strategies to create jobs for our youths because youth employment is crucial to the survival of the nation. “Very soon we will leave office and all the security apparatus around us will be gone and we will return and live with the people,’’ he noted.
The Governor urged Nigerian leaders to safeguard the future by striving hard to tackle unemployment. He commended the Borno Youth Vigilante Group for tackling the Boko Haram insurgency, and described them as God sent.
According to him, the emergence of the vigilante group can best be described as divine intervention. “A group of youths, armed with only sticks and cutlasses have succeeded in chasing and apprehending the gunmen known as Boko Haram militants,’’ he added.

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