Ogun Crisis: ACN Urges President Jonathan To Defend The Constitution
ABUJA, Sept 16, (THEWILL) - The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to be guided by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, rather than partisan politics, in his bid to help resolve the crisis that has engulfed Ogun State, following the impeachment of the Speaker and the suspension of 14 other House members by a group of nine legislators.
In a statement issued in Abuja today by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also warned against allowing Nigeria to slide back into the lawless Obasanjo era, when impeachments were carried out in total disregard of Constitutional stipulations and at odd hours.
It said what happened at the Ogun State House of Assembly is a clear case of brazen lawlessness and parliamentary irresponsibility, and must not be allowed to stand under any circumstance.
''We have read in the papers that President Jonathan's intervention ended in a stalemate. This cannot and should not be so. The only intervention we expect from the President is to uphold the Constitution he swore to protect, by ordering the security agencies to ensure that the G-15 can meet when they want, to carry out their Constitutional duties, and to deal decisively with anyone or group that tries to stop them.
''Those nine members trampled on the Constitution when they broke into the Assembly chambers, met outside the regular hours and without the symbol of authority of the House (mace) or the requisite majority to impeach the Speaker and suspend the majority of the members.
''Similar impeachments that represent a flagrant disregard of the Constitution in Anambra and Plateau States in the past were reversed by our country's highest court. The action by Ogun Assembly's Group of 9 cannot and will not stand.
''President Jonathan will only be lending credibility to their actions by negotiating with them, perhaps under the guise of ''family affair'' for which the PDP became notorious in the Obasanjo days. There is nothing to negotiate or settle beyond upholding the Constitution if any act violates it!'' ACN warned.
The party said those who orchestrated the crisis and goaded the nine lawmakers into their lawless act were simply trying to exploit the President's vulnerability, against the background of his expected candidacy in next year's polls, believing he will be too unwilling to act decisively so as not to alienate supposed supporters and allies.
''President Jonathan must reject this attempt to portray him as a waffling leader, or to box him into the same corner as those who stood by as the Constitution they pledged to uphold was been desecrated. His eyes must be on his legacy, and that should not include failure to uphold the Constitution,'' it said.