Condemns media crackdown, grounding of Rivers aircraft
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has castigated President Goodluck Jonathan for his brazen abridgement of the rights of Nigerian citizens, accusing him of fast descending towards fascist rule. The party particularly berated the Jonathan administration for the on-going crackdown on some of the country’s leading newspapers and the grounding of the Rivers State Government Bombardier BD 700 Global Express Jet.
The party said in a statement issued by its State Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya in Port Harcourt on Tuesday: “We have observed with sheer horror the determination of President Goodluck Jonathan to trample on the fundamental rights of Nigerians as it suits his whims and caprices. We strongly condemn this tendency which, if not checked, is capable of truncating the country’s nascent democracy.
“Since Friday last week, June 6, soldiers and other security personnel have waged a senseless war against the supposedly critical press, laying ambush for vendors and distribution vans, impounding vans and newspaper copies and beating up vendors and drivers of newspaper houses. Instructively, this unparalleled censorship gamble, the type of which was not witnessed even during the infamous Abacha days, started less than 24 hours after President Jonathan, through Information Minister Labaran Maku, publicly complained that the newspapers were giving Boko Haram undue publicity. We, therefore, do not need to look far to know the source of the directive to muzzle the Nigerian press.”
Rivers APC equally condemned “the shameful incident in Kano, in which the aviation authorities, acting at the behest of the Presidency, impounded the Rivers State Government-owned aircraft for no good reason, thus forcing Governor Chibuike Amaechi and his delegation to make the long journey back to Port Harcourt by road.”
“This is the same aircraft which was recently released after being grounded for a year on flimsy excuses. It was suddenly grounded again on Sunday, June 8, just to humiliate Governor Amaechi and the people of Rivers State on the mere suspicion that Amaechi was behind the emergence of the Presidency’s nightmare, former CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi Lamido, as the new Emir of Kano. Is Governor Amaechi a member of Kano Emirate Council? This is just mere looking for flimsy excuses to let Nigerians know how undemocratic he can be!” the party said.
Rivers APC described the action of the Federal Government as a descent into the lowest depths of decency. “We tend to agree with one perceptive analyst who rightly pointed out that what Jonathan is manifesting are the symptoms of a dying regime,” the party said. “From wrestling with newspapers on the streets to sponsoring police violence and attack in Ekiti, further down to childishly grounding aircrafts, the signs are that embattled President Jonathan is exasperated and frustrated with signs of impending electoral doom flashing. It promises to get worse with the approaching days. The man is foretold tragedy personified.”
Rivers APC appealed to Nigerians to completely reject President Jonathan and his deceptive PDP at the polls in 2015 as the country cannot afford four more years of disastrous rule under Jonathan and the PDP, as that would simply spell doom for the country.