Sack Ringim Now, ACN Tells Jonathan
LAGOS, March 31, (THEWILL) - The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) today asked President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to sack the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Hafiz Ringim, over his alleged partisan role in the ongoing trial for treason of the party’s gubernatorial candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. John Akpanudoedehe.
Akande made the call at a world press conference at the City Hall in Lagos, alleging that the country is gradually sliding back to the dark days of military dictatorship adding that civilian dictatorship is worse than military autocracy.
Akande demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Akpanudoedehe and threatened that ACN “will organise its members to embark on mass action across the country to press home its demand.”
According to him, the lesson from Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and other parts of the world is that no other force on earth is strong enough to stop the power of a free and determined people to liberate themselves. “A word should be sufficient for the wise,” the ACN chair added.
Akande also alleged that both the police and the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have entered into what he described as an unholy alliance saying the “alliance” has offered members of the PDP the opportunity to unleash violence on the opposition adding that members of the PDP have never been made to face the full wrath of the law in any case of violence.
Akande added that the case is not surprising bearing in mind that cases of assassinations of high profile citizens since the 1999 have never been resolved and that the situation implies that the hands of the PDP are not clean in the various murder cases.
He described as insincere the instruction from President Goodluck Jonathan to security agents that trouble makers should be arrested and prosecuted, saying the party “reached this painful conclusion due to the antecedents of a President who has looked on, in immoral and culpable silence as PDP governors across the country terrorize and intimidate political opponents while the worst forms of violence are unleashed on innocent citizens.
“The President cannot claim that he is not implicated in this ongoing exhibition of gross intolerance and arrogant misuse of power by his party.”
Akande said it was PDP thugs who first attacked ACN supporters at a rally in Ikot Ekpene in a violence which he said left nine members of the ACN dead with scores of others injured, adding that the situation provoked protests in Uyo, the home town of Udoedehe which led to the destruction of properties worth millions of naira.
He said it was sad that while not a single person has been charged to court for the violence in the home town of Governor Godswill Akpabio, Udoedehe is being tried for treason in a perceived desperate bid to stall his campaign and keep him out of circulation during the electioneering. He said it became much more ridiculous that Udoedehe’s lawyer, Francis Affanga, was also arrested and charged to court for “expressing feelings of disaffection against President Goodluck Jonathan.”
Akande said: “it is on record that Akpabio has the worst human rights violation records in Nigeria in this dispensation. Akwa Ibom under his watch has become access pit of kidnappings and unresolved political assassinations. Indeed, there had been unsuccessful attempts by the state government to falsely frame Senator Udoedehe for murder in the past and he was forced to stay away from the state for a long time.”
He added that the concept of George Orwell’s all animals are equal but some are more equal than the other in his novel Animal Farm, aptly applies here, citing an alleged case of oppression of ACN members in Kwara State by the PDP.
He added that the PDP was threatened by the community efforts initiated by the Senatorial and House of Representatives candidates in Kwara Central and Ilorin/West Asa constituency respectively. He said ACN supporters were arrested by the police for repairing the road.
Analysts have predicted that the April generation will be fiercely contested between candidates of the three most vibrant parties; ACN; PDP and the CPC.