Written by Dotun Oladipo
From the Action Congress of Nigeria to its presidential candidate in the 2011 election, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu: You are on your own if you take the job offered you by President Goodluck Jonathan as the Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force.
The party said it is still opposed to its members accepting any appointment from the government at the centre.
The ACN said it has made it very clear to its members that decide to take appointments from the Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government that it is not in support of such a move.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the decision to re-state that position followed the appointment offered to Ribadu by the Minister for Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke.
“As a political party, we wish to reiterate our position barring any member of our party from taking any appointment whatsoever from the PDP-led Federal Government. Any member of our party who takes such an appointment does so in his personal capacity,” the statement said.
ACN said, however, that as a leading opposition party, it will continue to play its role in ensuring good governance and contributing to nation building through its regular constructive criticisms which, hitherto and unfortunately so, have fallen on deaf ears.
The party said despite its efforts, as well as those of other parties, individuals and organisations, in offering well-meaning suggestions to the inept Jonathan Administration, the Administration has not demonstrated good faith in this respect.
It added: “For instance, on the vexed issue of removal of petroleum subsidy, it is on record that our party, the Action Congress of Nigeria, responded with patriotic and constructive suggestions during a meeting with the President in Abuja. At the end of that meeting, President Jonathan promised to further consult with us before taking any further step in respect of the matter.
”To our amazement, and true to the deceptive nature of this Administration, we all woke up on January 1st, 2012, to learn that the government has unilaterally removed subsidy from petrol. How then can we, in good conscience, work with such an Administration? How can we be sure that these slew of appointments are not being used by the Administration to shore up its sagging – or totally sagged – credibility?
“We believe that when a party as clueless and inept as the PDP finds itself incapable of solving the myriad of problems facing it, as it is currently the situation, the party should be humble and honest enough to accept its failure and cluelessness and openly seek help from the opposition parties.
“However, rushing to poach credible personalities from the opposition without first accepting that it is overwhelmed by the problems facing it smacks of underhand tactics aimed at decimating the opposition and also tarnishing the well-earned credibility of such personalities. After all, one can never be sure – going by the deceptive nature of the PDP – that the kind of appointment now being offered to Malam Ribadu is being made in good faith or just to get credible people to launder the government’s badly damaged image and credibility.
“There is also the possibility that booby-traps will be deliberately set for such credible personalities to guarantee their failure in their stated assignment, after which they will be ridiculed and dumped like an ordinary chump!”