By Akin Akande, Abuja
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday raised alarm over the planned visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to Lagos same day the party would be having its national convention.
In a letter written to the Lagos state Governor, Raji Fashola by the its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said that the President’s visit on its convention day scheduled for Thursday 18, 2013, would have a negative implication.
The party letter to Governor Fashola reads: “We write to convey our concerns to Your Excellency on the implication of the planned visit to Lagos on Thursday, April 18th, 2013 of President Goodluck Jonathan.
“As Your Excellency is very much aware, the National Convention of our party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), will hold on the same day at the Onikan Stadium in Lagos. Adequate notice of the Convention has been given through the media and other channels.
“We are concerned that based on precedence, the visit of the President may lead to the closure of key arterial roads in the city, which could prevent thousands of our supporters coming to Lagos from all parts of the federation from making it to the venue of the convention.
“This may lead to frustration and provocation on the part of these supporters, who would have travelled hundreds of kilometres from their destinations.
“In particular, the timing of the President’s visit and the attendant disruption of traffic in Lagos may be seen as a continuation of perceived attempts by the PDP-led federal government to frustrate the merger of our party with other progressive parties, which is a key item on the agenda of our National Convention on Thursday.”
The letter further said that “the implication of what will be perceived as a calculated attempt to disrupt the convention and, by extension the merger, combined with the frustration that many of our supporters who have travelled far distances will feel for not being able to easily access the venue of the Convention, may lead to a breach of the peace, the consequences of which no one will be able to fathom.”
Because of the implication of the visit, the party leadership appealed to Fashola to use his good office to prevail on President Jonathan to reschedule his visit.
“We are therefore appealing to Your Excellency to use your good offices to advise the President to either reschedule his visit or use a mode of intra-city transportation, like helicopter, that will not engender closure of roads on a very busy day in the city.
“We are very sure that even the President will not want to subject his compatriots to avoidable suffering just because of a visit that can either be rescheduled or carried out in an unobtrusive manner on a gridlock-prone day,” the party said.