The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the incoming administration of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) will not persecute anyone, contrary to statements credited to President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr. Jonathan, whose administration has been bogged down by weighty allegations of corruption scandals, had while speaking at a thanksgiving service organized in his honour at the Anglican Church, Life Camp, Abuja on Sunday, advised those that served under him to be prepared for persecution by the incoming administration.
“…So for ministers and aides who served with me, I sympathize with them, they will be persecuted. And they must be ready for that persecution”, he was quoted as saying.
In apparent reaction to the remark, the APC in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said while the Buhari administration will not be interested in persecuting anyone, those who have played poker with the nation’s destiny must be willing and eager to clear their conscience before man and God.
“That the President-elect is a man of integrity is not an issue for debate, and he has made it clear that he will not be bogged down by endless probes.
“However, the hands of the incoming government will not be tied by those who have chosen to play the victim and exhibit a persecution mentality. Whoever has any reason to be afraid must lay bare such reason before Nigerians”, the party said.
It said that under the climate of change that Nigerians have ushered in with their votes, only the guilty needs to be afraid, and those with a guilty conscience, on account of their actions in the public sphere, must clear such so they can be at peace with themselves.
“The last time we checked, this does not fit the definition of persecution”, the APC said.
The party, therefore, wondered why President Jonathan chose a public forum to express his fears when he could have done so privately during his meetings with the President-elect.
“Since the presidential election was won and lost, the President and the President-elect have met privately a number of times. Why didn’t President Jonathan express his apprehensions during these meetings?
“Even if the two have not met, the President could have reached out to the President-elect over any fears that he may be nursing, instead of engaging in an action that seems like he was being preemptive and seeking to curry public sympathy”, it said
APC insisted that the priority of the incoming government will be the welfare and security of the long-suffering people of Nigeria, and enjoined all citizens to support the Administration in charting a new path for the country – away from the rapaciousness and impunity of the past years.