...If S'West governors are rascals, Nigeria needs more rascals in governance-ACN

THE SUN Newspaper

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said if the ACN governors are ‘rascals’ as they were called by President Goodluck Jonathan, then Nigeria needs more ‘rascals’ in governance so they can enjoy the dividends of democracy that are being delivered by the so-called rascals.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said that for example, the ‘rascal’ in Lagos, Babatunde Fashola, has touched the lives of everyone in the state in the areas of security, good roads, education and standard medical care, just to mention a few, in less than one third of the time the PDP non-rascals have been in charge of Nigeria with nothing to show for it.

It said the ‘rascal’ in Edo, Adams Oshiomhole, has turned around the fortunes of a state in which the PDP governors who preceded him in office could only have dreamt of, while the ‘rascals’ in Ekiti and Osun (Kayode Fayemi and Rauf Aregbesola respectively), who are new in the saddle, are already restoring hope to their people, who were literally battered and bruised by their usurper PDP governors.
ACN said while it will not want to match President Jonathan on the use of foul language, it will however advise him to remember that he remains the President of all Nigerians, not that of the PDP and its supporters, even when he is giddy with excitement on the soap box.

“We believe that President Jonathan, in saying that the South-west region is too important to be left to rascals, is a victim of the vicious battering he received from his opponent as the two engaged in unprecedented mudslinging in their campaign for the PDP presidential ticket. It is common knowledge that both exhausted all the denigrating and demeaning words available as they tore at each other. “But that battle is over and the President should sheath his sword and refrain from using words that can only make him look unpresidential, no matter how tempting,” the party said. “Even as the presidential candidate of the PDP, he remains today the President of Nigeria. For

that reason, we will not exchange words with him but concentrate on issues.
“The issues that will improve the lives of our long-suffering people - better education, world class infrastructure, improved living standard, decent wages, security of lives and property, as well as the restoration of the dignity of Nigerians, among others - will dominate our campaign in the days ahead, not the use of foul language that has been patented by the President’s benefactor.”

It noted, however, that it will remain a pipe dream for the PDP to think it can wrest from the ACN any of the states currently being controlled by the party (ACN). “Honestly, we think the PDP should be more concerned about losing more states to the ACN than wresting any from our party. “If the insinuation is that the PDP will resort to the same rigging and brigandage which have brought the party nothing but disgrace, then those behind such thoughts should have a re-think, as Nigerians have decided that they will use all constitutional means to make sure their votes will count in April and in subsequent elections,” ACN warned..

Also reacting, the Oyo State chapter of the party, yesterday asked President Goodluck Jonathan to tender apology for referring to the leadership of the party as “rascals”. In a statement issued by the Chairman of the party in the state, Chief Akin Oke, the party described the President’s statement as “reckless and unfortunate” adding that it fell short of the status of a President, while urging Jonathan to withdraw the statement immediately.
President Jonathan had at a rally in Ibadan, emphasized the need for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to take over the South-west in the April election as well as in subsequent elections because according to him, “the region’s strategic importance to the nation”.

He said: “the South-west is too strategic to the politics and economy of Nigeria to be left in the hands of rascals.”
The party urged Jonathan to remember that he is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not an area boy, tout or militant in the creeks. The party stressed that its leaders in the South west were the best set of people that anyone would like to be proud anywhere in the world, adding that states taken over by the PDP in the region in the 2003 elections witnessed retrogression in all facets of life unlike Lagos which has witnessed progressive developments under the stable leadership of the ACN since 1999.

“We would like to put the record straight that Action Congress of Nigeria leaders in the South Western Nigeria are the best set of people Nigeria should be proud of among the committee of nations. Since PDP took over the governance of South Western states except Lagos in 2003 the region has witnessed retrogression, poverty, dwindling economy and educational backwardness, until recently when Dr. Kayode Fayemi was sworn in in Ekiti State and Engr. Rauf Aregbesola reclaimed his mandate in Osun State.

“The Action Congress of Nigeria is working round the clock to free Oyo and Ogun States from the shackles of the People Destructive Party. The things PDP in the South West is known for is thuggery, corruption, non-performance and wanton destruction of lives and property as exemplified by Alao Akala’s misgovernance of Oyo State and Gbenga Daniel’s misrule of Ogun State.” Chief Oke urged the people of the state to be focused and ensure that they mobilize themselves to vote for the candidates of ACN in the forthcoming general election for the emancipation of the suffering masses.

Gov Aregbesola
President Goodluck Jonathan incurred the wrath of the Action Congress of Nigeria yesterday for calling the party and its leaders rascals. Osun governor, Rauf Aregbesola who spoke after collecting his Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission described the President as being indecorous in his utterances during the Peoples Democratic Party campaign in Ibadan on Tuesday. The governor said, for the President to dismiss a party and governors who were elected on a populist mandate as mere ‘rascals’ only demonstrated that “he is far from being a statesman.”

Fielding questions from jouirnalists, the Osun state Chief Executive argued that CAN governors and their supporters fought good fights with determination before achieving the victory that has now made it possible to begin replicating Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s programme in Osun state and in South-West generally.
He Ddscribed as “unfortunate that such a reckless statement would be made by a person already occupying the presidency position and seeking the mandate of the people for such an office again.

“It is quite unfortunate; it is not statesman-like at all.“A statesman ought to make decorous statements. That statement is absolutely in bad taste, in bad faith and it is indecorous,” Aregbesola stated.
Aregbesola after collecting the certificate from Mr. Tanimu Inuwa, a senior official in INEC’s Legal Department explained that it took resolute determination and determination to realise the goal of governing Osun state through genuine populist mandate.

“Ours is not just judicial but constitutional and legal triumph. It is my pleasure to receive this from you and pass it on to the chairman of INEC that I am happy to be here to receive the Certificate of Return,”
Gov. Aregbesola who was accompanied by four eminent personalities – Alhaji Ado Ibrahim, Senator Ganiyu Solomon, Chief Ayo Opadokun and Hon Boss Mustapha – thanked God, his supporters and unbending members of the Nigerian judiciary for playing critical roles in making his struggle for justice a reality.”

The Accord Party (AP) governorship candidate in Oyo state, Senator Rasheed Adewolu Ladoja has described President Goodluck Jonathan’s choice of language with which he described some politicians as “rascals” while flagging off his campaign in Ibadan as “mere and harmless political statement.”
Jonathan on Tuesday was quoted as saying that “the south-west was too important to be left in the hands of political rascals,” the statement some observers considered to be too dirty for a person of Mr. President’s status to use.

But Ladoja saw no offence in the language saying “it is a political anybody can use on the podium,” just as he reminded that “Dr. Jonathan was in Ibadan, not as Mr. President but as presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). “It is a language any politician, including myself can use at campaign rallies,” insisting that “that was even better than the do-or-die of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo.”

Meanwhile, Ladoja has said that the much touted incumbency factor would not work in the in the April election asserting that “that obstacle in our state is surmountable.” Ladoja, who was former governor in the state said in a situation where welfare of the people was absent, the so called power of incumbency was non existent reminding that “politics is about bringing the dividends of democracy to the people.”

The Oyo State AP governorship candidate spoke in Lagos yesterday at the Media Eye-Ball, a meet the press arrangement of The Compass Newspaper where he disclosed that “my efforts at re-contesting my former office was borne out of the people’s demand for my further service.”


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