Buhari and Tinubu are political liabilities, Won’t Beat PDP – Presidency

The Herald NG
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The Presidency has dismissed the criticisms of the Goodluck Jonathan administration by the two opposition parties, describing their national leaders-Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd) and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as “heavily burdened political liabilities.”


Senior Special Assistant to Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said this at a news conference in Lagos,  that  the Peoples Democratic  Party-led Federal Government  would not be distracted by their ‘empty’ criticisms.


Tinubu had at the ACN  convention in Lagos on Thursday, said  “The current government’s trademark is to throw empty words and hollow actions at our problems,” while Buhari vowed that the All Progressives Congress would resist any move by the PDP to rig elections in 2015.


But Okupe said Buhari and Tinubu,  who are the chief sponsors of the move by the ACN, CPC and the All Nigeria Peoples Party to fuse into APC, “were lacking in antecedents that support  their claim of possessing what it takes to move Nigeria forward.”


He  said, “It is evident that the proposed merger revolves around two personalities only, Senator   Tinubu and Retd.- Gen.  Buhari. Unfortunately, both are heavily burdened political liabilities. ”


The Presidential aide described the proposed merger as “incongruous alliance of political weaklings, ,dysfunctional Lilliputians and    repeatedly frustrated political power mongers.”


He claimed that the  promoters of the APC   were  desperate to “supplant the Jonathan  administration, forgetting that one million giant ants can never muster the required strength to lift a concrete pole  much less  of a nationally entrenched pillar and structurally established institution like the PDP.”


The Ogun State-born medical doctor described   the ACN  a “motley assembly, which lacked internal democracy and was notorious for outsourcing its presidential candidates from the PDP.”


Commenting on the ANPP,   he said that the party had existed for 13 years without any meaningful impact on the polity and predicted that the APC would likely pick its presidential candidate from the rank of the PDP stalwarts..


He said, “It is noteworthy  that the major plank of this motley assembly, the ACN, is notorious for outsourcing its presidential  candidate  from the ranks of  the same PDP they gleefully  villify.


“In 2003, their choice was Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who now knows them better. In 2011, it was a protégé of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, who filled the slot although he was later betrayed and sacrificed on the altar of self interest.


“Presently, the debates within the factionalised alliance suggest that  they will not mind fielding another PDP stalwart as their presidential candidate.”


Okupe said that the administration of  Tinubu in  Lagos State  was characterised by labour crisis and that it did not at any  time attain 60 per cent budget implementation.


He said, “The leader of the opposition, Chief Bola Tinubu, who spoke disparagingly about the Federal Government on a number of issues   was once a governor of Nigeria’s richest state  for eight years and we all have a record of what he made of that position.


“ Tinubu who spoke about meagre wages for public servants in Nigeria was known to have ignored calls of Lagos civil servants for a N7,500   monthly wage and when he eventually buckled to the pressure of Labour leaders, he wickedly sacked the arrowhead of the struggle in the person of Comrade Ayodele Akele, who was never re-instated.


“Yet Tinubu spoke of the present government as ‘heartless and mean that put the interest of small elite above the interest of the common working man and woman who are the backbone of this nation.”


On the  National Chairman of the ACN,Chief Bisi Akande, he noted that when he (Akande) was  the governor of Osun State, workers  were denied  N5,500 minimum wage.


He added that the Akande regime  laid off over 9,000 workers during its four years in office


He said, “Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who was then Nigeria Labour Congress President and now Governor of Edo State led workers on protest in Osun  during the period but Chief Akande remained adamant. Where then is the credential of these people to talk about job creation, promotion of workers interest and democratic etiquette?.”


He also spoke on the decision of two nominated members of the Amnesty Implementation Committee, Mallam  Sanni and Alhaji Datti Ahmed, to reject their membership, describing it as “shameful”.


Okupe said, “They wanted to do it as private citizens and take the glory. Some people feel because a committee has been established, their importance will be undermined.”


Arguing that  corruption with over 50 years existence in the country  would not disappear overnight, the SSA added that Jonathan overhauled the leadership of  government agencies saddled with the responsibility  and   signed the Freedom of Information Bill  in order to reinvigorate the war against  corruption.


However, in its reaction, the ACN which spoke through its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, said, “Lagos State Government under Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu was the first state  to increase workers’ salaries without them asking him. Osun State witnessed unrivalled infrastructural development during the tenure of  Chief Bisi Akande, these records are there for all to see.”


The National Chairman of  the ACN,  Chief  Akande, said that he  would  not dignify  Okupe with a reply.


He said this through his media aide, Mr Lani Baderinwa and advised  the Jonathan administration to secure the lives and properties of Nigerians rather than engage in bickering.


“Okupe doesn’t need to be dignified with a response. He is an attack dog. He has enough problems of his own,” he added.


Also, the CPC through its Spokesman, Mr.Rotimi Fashakin, said   “A hunter’s dog that is about to get lost forever will never hear the whistle of the hunter. This administration is about to get lost irredeemably.”

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