Abuja - The All Progressives Congress (APC) decried the tensions
between President Goodluck Jonathan and former head of state Olusegun Obasanjo.
In a statement its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji
Lai Mohammed, issued in Lagos, the party said while it was not interested in
joining the fray over the issues contained in the letters written by both men,
the decision by the president to go personal in his reaction crossed the
threshold of decency and brought the presidency and the country into disrepute.
“The president's response read like the stuff of gossip
magazines, and the exchange of words felt like what one would have expected in
a beer parlour. At the end of the day, the Presidency allowed Obasanjo to take
the higher moral ground by simply insisting on the allegations he made in his
letter and saying he would not respond to the presidency's reply.
President, who accused Obasanjo of doing him a great injustice, has himself
done a great injustice to the Presidency, which is an institution in which he
is only a tenant. In the end, the President of Africa's most populous nation,
the leader of the foremost black nation on earth and the Commander-in-Chief of
the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria simply desecrated his own
presidency and allowed those who can only be likened to gravy train passengers,
rascals and knaves to seize the initiative from him,” Mohammed said.
“'This is what happens when a President is surrounded by
self-serving, boot-licking and dishonest people, at the expense of seasoned
technocrats and veteran policymakers, who would have reminded the President
that while critics can afford to fire all sorts of darts at him, as the
custodian of the presidency at this point in time, he cannot afford to respond
in kind because, in doing so, he would be debasing the presidency as an
The party said the president was not unaware of this
because he struggled in his letter to maintain some minimum level of decorum,
and then quickly lost control and engaged in a bare-knuckle fight.
“The president himself knows that he ought not to have engaged
in such exchange when he wrote early on in his letter: 'It is with the greatest
possible reluctance that I now write this reply. I am most uneasy about
embarking on this unprecedented and unconventional form of open communication
between me and a former leader of our country because I know that there are
more acceptable and dignified means of doing so.
"However, he quickly jettisoned
such reluctance and, in an unfortunate debasement of the tone and quality of
statecraft, went full blast, calling the former President a liar, a conflict
instigator and an unreliable ally, among other inferred derogatory labels that
may have now shut the window to reconciliation between him and his political
Godfather, in addition to portraying Nigerian leaders as delinquents.”
The opposition party alleged Jonathan criticised Obasanjo
and other critics during a church service on Christmas Day.
“'To worsen matters, President Jonathan could not
restrain himself from using even the revered and ecclesial platform provided by
his appearance at a Church service on Christmas day to further lambaste his
critics and spew out hot words. This, surely, is not what is expected of a
President, a leader and anyone who wants to be a nation builder,” Mohammed
– CAJ News