Tinubu’s London Speech: ACN Condemns Presidency Over Reaction
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has condemned what it called as “the Presidency’s hysterical reaction” to Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s recent speech at the British African Diaspora Conference in London, describing as “unnecessary and diversionary the name-calling and personal attacks” on the ACN leader.
In a statement in Abuja Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party accused Presidency of pressing “the panic button by sending its self-confessed attack dog to criticise a report he had barely read, and denigrated the ACN and its leader,” instead of reading the speech objectively.
According to Mohammed, “the Presidency went after the messenger rather than the message, rehashing its old and stale cliches about the ACN and its leader for daring to carry out an objective analysis of the state of our economy as well as the state of the nation, and also suggesting the way forward.”
The party challenged the Presidency to controvert what it termed “the kernel of the speech concerning the economy,” stating: “Asiwaju had raised the following questions to be asked about a country’s development: What has become of poverty? What has happened to unemployment? What is the state of socio-economic inequality?
“If all three have declined from high levels, then development has occurred. But if one or two of these central problems have grown worse, especially if all three have, it would be wrong to call the result ‘development’ even if GDP has improved’.”
The party asked the Presidency to tell Nigerians whether the poverty level in the country has reduced since 1999 when the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) assumed power at the centre, as well as how much unemployment has been tamed and how far the socio-economic inequality has been curbed.
It added: “The assertion by Asiwaju in his speech tallies with our earlier statement that what we are experiencing in Nigeria under the Jonathan Presidency, which has been reeling out highfalutin economic statistics, is growth without development, which is useless.”
The ACN also challenged the Presidency to prove to Nigerians that the country’s leadership in the past 14 years has been visionary, disciplined and courageous, adding: “As Asiwaju said, ‘the gap between poor and rich widens.
“There is grinding poverty and people have to work twice as hard each day to make ends meet. There is massive unemployment. Of what use is any leadership that does little to solve these problems?”
It also challenged the Presidency to deny that it had turned the concept of democracy, especially one man, one vote, on its head, especially against the background of its antics in the recently conducted election of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.
According to Mohammed, here is what Asiwaju said in his speech on that election: “Look at the recent controversy surrounding election of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) chairman. 35 state governors assembled to vote for the chairmanship, they did this among themselves by secret ballot. One contestant earned 19 votes, the other attracted 16.
“In a place where honesty matters, the result would be clear and undisputed, but not in today’s Nigeria under the current leadership. The chap who earned fewer votes was declared winner by those who backed him.
“In Nigeria, the tenets of basic arithmetic have little application concerning elections. Votes do not count, they are concocted. Elections are not necessarily won by the candidate with the highest votes, they are won by the candidate of the powerful and mighty.
“Consequently, a group comprising all the nation’s governors could not even conduct a simple 35-person election without a disputed outcome.”
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