By NBF News
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AC slams Ministers over memo to Jonathan
By Oge Okonkwo & Precious Igbokwe
Sunday, March 07, 2010

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The Action Congress (AC) has described as unpatriotic the ministers who reportedly wrote a memo to Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, warning him not to dissolve the cabinet or move against the existing government structure because he lacks the power to do so.

AC's national Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, in a statement on Saturday said while the 12 ministers who reportedly wrote the memo described themselves as 'wise men', their action was unconscionable and anything but a display of wisdom.

The party asked, 'When did the tail begin to wag the dog? Or is this memo part of the means, which the cabal that is holding President Yar'Adua hostage is using to intimidate Jonathan?''

It said the argument by the ministers, that Jonathan neither has the power to dissolve the cabinet nor tamper with the office of the Service Chiefs because President Yar'Adua is in the country, brings to the fore the warning it issued last week after its NEC meeting in Benin – in which it said the presence of Yar'Adua in Aso Rock is like a Sword of Damocles hanging over the Acting President's head.

AC regrets that the ministers must have taken a cue from the Governors' Forum, which met recently and made comments virtually constraining the ability of the Acting President to act beyond being a lame duck.

It wondered where the Governors got their newfound powers from, or what part of the Constitution empowers them to dictate to the President or Acting President of the country.

According to the party, 'While we admit that the Governors have a right to form any association, that right does not empower them to take over the running of the country, as they are doing now. They should stay back in their states and provide good governance, which has eluded all but a handful of them.

“Arrogating to themselves the power to issue directives to the Acting President is a bad precedent, and the bandwagon effect is what we are now seeing, with Ministers giving orders to the Acting President in a convoluted show of power,'' AC said.

The party blamed Acting President Jonathan for failing to take charge by exercising the executive powers vested in him, thus giving room for every self-important individuals and groups to push him around.

“Jonathan is, wrongly or rightly, perceived as a weakling by the Governors and the Ministers. That is the only reason they will have the audacity to torment him endlessly with the presence of Yar'Adua in Aso Rock.

Indeed, as someone once wrote, the presence of the President has become an 'effigy of power','' it said.

AC urged Jonathan to go ahead and do what he has to do to move the nation forward, irrespective of the self-serving memo of some deluded group of wise men, or their accomplices in the so-called Governors' Forum, who have now set up shop in Abuja when their people at home are suffering from the effects of their total lack of governance.