By EMMA UJAH & BEN AGANDE
ABUJA—The Presidency, yesterday, dismissed the purported presidential directive on the former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu and the planned merger of opposition parties, saying the action was the handiwork of desperate politicians who neither meant well for the country nor have the respect for the office and person of the president.
A newspaper reported that a presidential directive was issued purportedly directing that the merger of opposition parties be frustrated while the arrowheads of the opposition be investigated.
A bromide of the purported directive was published in a newspaper (not Vanguard) on Wednesday.
But reacting to the publication, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati said “what is being bandied around by a section of the media as a “Presidential Directive” on Tinubu, APC and other matters, is fictitious, designed to mislead the public, discredit the person and office of President Goodluck Jonathan and cause disaffection within the polity”.
According to Dr Abati, a “careful examination reveals a mishmash of deliberately arranged and concocted lies, presented to the public as evidence of a document emanating from the Presidency. This is not only dubious but raises concerns as to the length certain persons will go to perpetuate falsehood for the sake of their selfish ambitions”.
The statement reads: “The Presidency affirms that no such directive was ever conceived nor was any such directive put forth by President Goodluck Jonathan or his aides.
“It is ironic that this is coming at a time, when the President is actively engaged in serious discussions with various interest groups on how to further deepen the democratic experience as well as build an economically viable federation.
“Nigerians should be wary of such tactic, one that seeks to undermine a current administration by creatively espousing imaginary fault lines, with the aid of fake documents to create doubt, fear and disbelief in the minds of citizens and true patriots. We unequivocally state that in this case, as in others that may follow the same path, the Goodluck Jonathan administration has no desire to create any inhibitions to the expression of democratic ideas in the country.
“With regards to the imaginary ‘Presidential directive’ released to hoodwink the general public, the government is confident that the discerning public is well aware that this purported document is alien to how things are done within this Presidency.
“The physical quality of the unsigned document published a National daily, with jagged and irregular edges (which make a mockery of both presidential correspondences and the quality of attention paid to sensitive issues and development-oriented policies of government) should signpost the level of desperation by those who seek to mislead the enlightened electorate of the Federal Republic.
“The publication of this spurious document (which was to all intents and purposes hurriedly put together in a roadside business centre!) and the passing-off of same by some media entities should serve as an index on their credibility and sovereign interest.
“This government believes that the media – print and electronic – has a significant role to play in educating, enlightening and empowering the populace and will continue to support all organizations to do this even as it retains the discretion and responsibility to expose specific institutions that perpetuate falsehood on the sovereign.
“The President remains committed to providing good governance to the nation, even in the face of the most uncharitable criticism by people desirous of a chaotic environment for them to thrive. This, we accept as part of a civil engagement between elected officials and the citizenry”.
“The public and our esteemed crop of journalists are humbly requested to be wary of lurking mischief makers who parade themselves under different garbs and push forth information that should best be ignored, or clarified in the best tradition of the journalism profession.
“We reaffirm that the so-called “bromide of the presidential directive” is false and inconsistent with the governance ethos of the present administration” he said.
My worry over APC — Metuh
Meanwhile, as the fireworks between ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and All Progressives Congress, APC, continue to rage, the spokesman of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, has said his worry was not the emergence of the mega opposition party but the fact that it offered no alternative solutions to the development challenges confronting the nation.
Chief Metuh who spoke in Abuja, yesterday, lamented that his party was under orchestrated attacks from the opposition group and several allies with a recent allegation of efforts to frustrate the registration of APC.
According to him, the registration of APC should not be an issue but that what Nigerians should concern themselves with should be the manifesto of the opposition group and the alternative programmes it has put in place towards solving the nation’s problems, which according to him, APC had none.
His words, “I am more worried that a group of people have come together and they think their ideology, their vision and their manifesto is to take power from PDP. There is no good programme that they have to offer. We are faced with an opposition that comes to Nigerians and criticizes PDP and insults the president and insults everybody but do not offer an alternative. They do not offer solutions to problems”.
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