CALL FOR JONATHAN'S RESIGNATION, IMPEACHMENT MISPLACED â€“ TAFIDA
The Director-General of the Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Council, Ambassador Dalhatu Tafida, yesterday, described as 'misplaced', the call by the leader of the Northern Political Leaders Forum, NPLF, Adamu Ciroma, to President Goodluck Jonathan to resign or be impeached.
The NPLF, reacting to claims on Tuesday by exiled Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) leader, Henry Okah, that an aide of President Jonathan asked him to retract the groups' claim of responsibility for last Friday's Abuja bomb blasts so it could be blamed on northern politicians, had called on the president to immediately resign from office because he had proved that he was incapable of leading the nation justly and fairly.
The group had also called on the National Assembly to immediately take steps to impeach and remove him from office should he fail to quit by the end of the week.
Fielding questions from state house correspondents, after a courtesy call on President Jonathan, Tafida said the statement credited to Ciroma was unstatesman-like, especially by one who understood the importance of leadership, describing his call as too harsh and uncalled for.
He said it was too early in the day for the aspirants to be at dagger's drawn, especially as they were all members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), urging that they wait for the primaries to slug it out instead of resorting to mudslinging. 'For Ciroma to ask the president to resign is too harsh. The issue of calling for impeachment is misplaced. You don't just say you want to impeach for the sake of it,' he said stressing that the leadership of Nigeria was too important to 'be sacrificed on the altar of primaries. If they defeat us, we belong to Goodluck Jonathan, we will accept.'
He said 'if they don't want us to have a smooth transition, it is too bad. After all, weather it is IBB, Atiku, Saraki , Gusau or Jonathan, whoever gets it is PDP. We have not even reached the point where we should be fighting.'
Tafida, who sharply disagreed with the call, enjoined the group to retract the statement without further delay.
The envoy who is presently Nigeria's high commissioner to the United Kingdom, said he was amazed at the comment of Mallam Ciroma, wondering if the reports were the true representations of the group.
'I only read it this morning and it was said to have been credited to one of the northern leaders. I was amazed at the wordings. Either our dear elder brother, Mallam Adamu Ciroma, who is very well known, very well loved by Nigerians was misquoted or somehow he said it in anger,' he said.
According to him, 'the issue of asking the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to resign, I think, does not arise. We are talking of politics…at the very early stage because, we are only talking about the primaries in our party. Mallam Adamu Ciroma belongs, the other aspirants belong to the PDP and of course, including Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Even though he is currently the president of Nigeria, he is also aspiring.
Tafida explained that 'for a President (Jonathan) to react the way he did, I think he did it for the best interest of Nigerians. Something happened, Nigerians died in the process and that is considered a terrorist act. What do you expect the president to say?' He pointed out that President Jonathan acted and meant well for Nigeria 'and to call him to resign is too harsh', saying that 'leadership of Nigeria is so important and cannot be slaughtered on the altar of primary politics.'
'After all these people talking are either contesting for primaries like President Jonathan or they want to lead us finally. We should not be seen to be talking like this; this is an internal affair.
If you want to lead, you must be prepared to listen; you must be prepared to respect whoever is your leader at that time. We have a president; even though he's an aspirant we should respect him. We have seen how American politics is played, we have watched them with keen interest, and things don't degenerate into personal attacks, so we should respect our president as a president who happens to be an aspirant. Therefore the question of asking him to resign, if true, I think, should be retracted.'
The Jonathan Campaign organization boss further said that the issue of impeachment raised by Ciroma is completely a misplaced priority as the utterances of President Jonathan cannot and does not in any way constitute impeachable offence, saying that 'I have been a legislature and I know the process of impeachment, I know what constitute an impeachment, I know what you require to impeach the president or whoever, so the issue of impeachment again to me is misplaced'.
'If you are representing a group in Nigeria and you call for impeachment you need the other side to also impeach. You can't just say you want to impeach just because you belong to a group, you need the support and understanding of other members of the National Assembly. From the way I saw them debate things yesterday and today I was happy with their approach to the whole thing. They want to investigate what happened, sent condolences to the president and families, this is the way it should be and not the way it is going, what is the offence of President Jonathan in this'?
Speaking on the qualities of President Jonathan, Tafida said 'the President is usually a very calm individual, he never will get angry. He spoke more openly this time because it was a serious offence, it shows he is a good leader, he cares about Nigeria. This is way he spoke loudly and he wants this thing to be investigated thoroughly and is ongoing. We do not want the government to be derailed in trying to finding out the truth of this matter. So the question of impeachment to me is also misplaced'.
He also reacted to claims by Senator Lawal Kaita that his group would make Nigeria ungovernable for President Jonathan, saying that 'that again is unfortunate if indeed Senator Lawal Kaita who was also a former governor of old Kaduna State, both of them know what is meant by power, you cannot be in power and be calling for a state of anarchy'.
'No responsible government will allow this and I am sure that the eyes and ears of government will be opened and focused on whoever made that statement. If it was actually made is unfortunate. To me if you want to rule or looking for that office for your client and you are saying you want to make the country ungovernable how do you want to get it, I mean that is ridiculous. God said whatever you want for others you should want for yourself and I believe that whoever wants to take that office as president will not want to make it bad for another person because you hope to get it one day. If he said so it is unfortunate and is not statesmanly at all'.