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APC Says Nigerians Against Legislative Blockage Ignorant

Source: pointblanknews.com
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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described critics of its directive

to its National Assembly members to block all legislative proposals as

those who are either ignorant of the workings of democracy or those who

have chosen to play to the gallery for pecuniary gains.

”Ether way, these critics have rushed to judgment without even taking time

to study the directive, without understanding that governance is about

people, and without caring about the principles of fairness, justice and

equity, and they should cover their faces in shame,” the party said in a

statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its Interim National Publicity

Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
”We hereby reiterate the directive, which is a product of deep thinking

and robust debate within our party's NEC to save our democracy, and we

commend our members in the National Assembly for their unequivocal support

for our stand, and for understanding that filibustering or legislative

non-cooperation are veritable tools of democracy,” it said.

APC said the directive is already yielding result, as members of the Save

Rivers Movement (SRM) were able to stage a peaceful rally on Saturday, for

the first time in a long time, without being attacked by hired

ex-militants, because the Inspector-General of Police directed the police

to provide protection for the rally.
”This is exactly what we are saying, that Nigerians, irrespective of their

party leaning, who wish to stage a peaceful protest anywhere in the

country must be able to do so without the police looking away while hired

goons attack them. It is all about justice, fairness and equity, without

which democracy will not thrive. We will be watching to see if what

happened on Saturday represents a paradigm shift in Rivers or it is just a

flash in the pan,” the party said
APC said there is nothing anti-democratic, anti-people or inciting about

the directive, which is aimed at ending the reign of impunity in Rivers

state before its spreads to other parts of the country and truncates the

nation's democracy, wondering why it is so difficult for the President to

act, for almost a year, as a part of the country he was elected to govern

goes up in flames.
The party said already, copy cat attacks and intimidation of APC members

have been launched by the government and the police in Gombe, because they

have been watching the impunity being committed in Rivers.

”All over Gombe, our party flags, billboards and posters are being

vandalized by hoodlums aided and abetted by the police. Our youth

supporters are being arrested while our members are being threatened by

the police and the state government officials.
”From Rivers, this reign of impunity has spread to Gombe. Who knows where

the train of impunity is heading to next. Yet, some so-called fickle

analysts, some chameleonic activists who willingly pit their tents with

the highest bidder, some increasingly irrelevant organisations and some

political parties who are content with the crumbs that fall off the table

of the ruling party have the temerity to condemn a directive they do not

understand.
”They say the non-approval of the 2014 budget will pauperize Nigerians, as

if the yearly ritual of budget passing since 1999 has benefitted anyone

but the fat cats. In any case, of what use is a budget when the lives of

citizens are at stake? Are budgets not made for the people? Do they

understand that even the budgets are based largely on earnings from oil,

which we cannot even produce if the violence in Rivers escalates and

spreads to other oil-producing states?
”They say our directive is anti-people without understanding that those

who are being daily intimidated, beaten and shot in Rivers are also

Nigerians. They say we are anti-democratic without understanding that

democracy cannot thrive in an atmosphere of impunity, the like of which we

have in Rivers.
”Where were these same critics when the impudent police commissioner in

Rivers, egged on by a conniving presidency, thumbed his nose at the

Constitution by turning himself to the de facto Governor of the state and

refusing to subordinate himself to the elected Governor who is the chief

security officer of his state? Where were these critics when a serving

Senator was shot perhaps by the police? Where were these critics when

women and children were teargassed and innocent civilians beaten black and

blue? Did they raise any voice against the attack on journalists whose

offence was that they went to cover a rally?
”The APC, as a party, cannot be intimidated by the antics of those who

will have no qualms elevating self interest above public interest, by

those who believe their cheap criticism will help insert their snouts into

the nectar of filthy lucre.
”Therefore, while we acknowledge the so-called critics' right to express

their opinions on our directive, we disagree with them, in the exercise of

our own rights, and here reiterate the directive, which goes thus: 'In

view of the joint resolutions of the National Assembly on Rivers State,

and other constitutional breaches by the Presidency, the APC hereby

directs its members in the National Assembly to block all legislative

proposals, including the 2014 budget and confirmation of all nominees to

military and civilian positions to public office, until the rule of law

and constitutionalism is restored in Rivers State in particular, and

Nigeria in general',” the party said.