President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday claimed that the creation of the mega opposition party, the APC, was the result of his administration’s deliberate policy to entrench democracy in the country.
The president, who spoke at a roundtable aired live on national television and radio stations, said his administration allowed the opposition parties to merge by giving them the enabling environment.
Jonathan prided his administration as one which accommodates insults and abuses from the people without having to reprimand anyone, saying that in its bid to entrench democratic values, his government had ensured the freedom of speech.
Speaking through the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, he said the ruling PDP was not afraid of the APC, but was enjoying its activities because the opposition party remains its creation.
He observed that it was his deliberate policy of promoting freedom of association that made it possible for those in the opposition to merge and challenge the ruling party.
“President Jonathan believes (that) strong opposition is good for our democracy. Opposition should be very grateful to Mr President. Say whatever you want to say, it doesn’t matter – we enjoy it”, Anyim stated.
He added that the administration has promoted the right to vote and be voted for and strengthened the sanctity and integrity of democracy by ensuring that votes count.
Jonathan pointed out that despite all negative comments against him and his government, there had not been any political prisoner in the country.
He added that his administration had been able to stabilise the National Assembly by not interfering with their operations.
This, he explained, is his own way of decentralizing power by strengthening institutions rather than making himself or anybody serving under his government a dictator.