Jonathan Replies Tinubu, Chides Fashola
THE Presidency yesterday described a story credited to a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, that he had been offered by President Goodluck Jonathan the position of the Vice President in an Interim National Government (ING) as not only false, but senseless.
The government also dismissed the claim by Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola that the robbery incident in the state on Thursday was as a result of the President’s visit to the state, saying the statement had intent of malice.
Tinubu had in a statement widely reported in major newspapers yesterday alleged that his life is in danger, ostensibly as a result of his refusal to take the position of vice president in the ING.
Responding to Tinubu’s outburst, the Special Adviser Media and Publicity to the President, Dr. Reuben Abati, said the President had made it repeatedly clear that there was no room for any interim arrangement in the government and that he and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were ready for the March 28 presidential election.
“Except people have not been following the news or they have chosen willfully to play deaf and dumb, they will know and the facts are there that President Jonathan has said again and again that an idea of an interim national government is preposterous and to use his exact words, also treasonable. And that he has never anywhere discussed that idea with anybody and he has never proposed it at any forum.
“That as the democratically-elected President, his ambition can never be to head an Interim National Government under whatever circumstances.
“He is going to this presidential election on the basis of the records of his achievements on the conviction that he has served Nigerians well and the overwhelming majority of Nigerians are appreciative of the achievements of his administration and are, therefore, solidly behind him and will vote for him massively on March 28.
“He, therefore, has no reason whatsoever to support such an unconstitutional proposition, which in its fullest will amount to assault on democratic principles under this circumstance, ” Abati said.
He described Fashola;s allegation that all the policemen who should have been responsible for security in the state had been deployed to serve the President “ as grossly and utterly irresponsible.”
Abati’s added :“We expect that a man of his status, who is governor of a state, should speak more responsibly. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever that the entire police formation in Lagos State would be deployed to protect the President of Nigeria.
“The visit of the President to Lagos or any part of the country does not necessitate the depletion of the police force active in that particular state of environment. The President has a defined team that protects him anywhere he goes.
“We not only consider Fashola’s statement as irresponsible, we also think that it is unintelligent, because it flies in the face of facts and it just does not add up.”
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