June 27, 2013
Well-known political critic, Junaid Muhammad, has called fresh attention to recent developments in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the national level, warning that they are snowballing into a full blown governmental and security crises in Rivers State.
And he brought the First Lady under the hammer for her role in the chaos.
In a press statement issued today in Kano on Wednesday, Dr. Muhammad described Rivers as “coming to the limelight because of the irresponsible, unconstitutional and bizarre, illiterate actions, of the so called first lady Mrs. Patience Jonathan, who hails from the island village of Okrika in Rivers State and who sees not only Okrika but the whole of Rivers States, as her personal domain to exploit, abuse and destabilize as she sees fit because her husband Jonathan happens to be the president.”
He noted that the Nigerian constitution makes no provision whatsoever for the post of First Lady and confers no rights, privileges and/or responsibilities on spouses of our president or heads of governments.
“It is therefore illegal and completely ultra vires the constitution for any citizen, president or his spouse to usurp executive powers, and go about throwing their weight, as if they were legally recognized holders of such offices according to the law,” he warned. “ As at the time of writing, the commissioner of police in Rivers, his command structure and other security services are at the command of Patience Jonathan, and by her and presidential orders, most security facilities due governor, the speaker and others so entitled, have been withdrawn. Mean-while professional thugs and all manner of criminals are being recruited and pressed into service to destabilize the elected government of Rivers State.”
Stressing that those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat its mistakes, Dr. Muhammad pointed out that current developments in the PDP and especially in Rivers State bear an uncanny resemblance to the old Western Region, which led to the collapse of the first republic, with very serious and bloody consequences. Then and now, the popularly elected leaders of those parts of the country were prevented from exercising political power and control, and the operations of the police, the army and the rump of security services were interfered with in a brazen political manner.
“The current CP Rivers, is bending over backwards to accommodate the president, his cronies and his illiterate wife, to ignore or pervert the law and the constitution and norms of decent political behavior, to harass, intimidate Governor Rotimi Amaechi, and thus destabilize, a strategic state like Rivers. Those in the PDP who imagine that this serious and fundamental crisis can be contained by some band aid or artificial cordon sanitaire, have a shocker awaiting them,” he said.
He noted that the overriding attitude of PDP leadership, the PDP president, his cronies etc. is an open invitation to anarchy, for his party, his tottering crisis prone government and most unfortunately for Nigeria.
“The preponderance of the PDP in the governing processes is a clear and present danger to democracy,” the statement said. “Add to that the dictatorial proclivities of the party leadership and penchant for hand picking illiterates and corrupt thugs into key and sensitive positions; you have the making of an inevitable disaster.”
Dr. Muhammad stressed that the latest developments throw into doubt the very possibilities of elections in 2015, those elections being the very reason for the desperate manouvres now being undertaken.
“If the de-facto commander–in-chief, the de-facto defence Minister and army commander Gen. Ihejirika who is an in-law to Patience [Jonathan], and his police and S.S.S. counterparts, are behaving in openly political partisan manner as heads of Jonathan’s personal militia, it goes without saying that Jega’s INEC will hold no elections worth the name,” he declared, calling on all Nigerians who cherish democracy to stand up and be counted.
He stressed that Rivers State and the fate of its governor must be of enormous concern to all democrats and patriots, pointing out that within Rivers State and beyond it, evil thrives when good and decent people take their eyes off the ball or pretend it is of no concern to them or is unrelated to neighborhoods.
“Personally I do not know and have never met Gov. Rotimi Amaechi in person, in Port Harcourt or anywhere else on earth,” he declared. “I have not been to Rivers State since the expiry of my national service in the defunct OMPADEC (now NDDC) in 1996. I am however invested in Amaechi’s struggles because I believe democracy is the only way to govern a free people rationally, and to exercise legitimate power over a free people. If the PDP and its incompetent president treat this country like a conquered and vanquished people, they must be cured of their delusion, soonest.”