Akin Akande, Abuja
The Presidency on Monday has described criticism of the proscription slammed on the terrorist groups by President Goodluck Jonathan by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) as lacking good judgment.
The Presidency further said that the criticism of President Jonathan directive by the party spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and ACN only betrays desperation on the part of the party.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, in a statement yesterday said that the ACN, which Lai Mohammed represents has often been described as a tyrannical political institution run by an association of despots and a clearly undemocratic leadership.
He said: “Our attention to the latest statement by the Action Congress of Nigeria issued by its national Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed criticizing the proscription of terrorist groups by the Federal Government.
“This latest effort by Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the ACN not only betrays desperation on the part of the party but is equally lacking in sound judgment.
What its present action suggests is that were the ACN in power it would have done nothing to stop the needless destruction of lives and property by the terrorist group proscribed by the federal government.
“Our concern with the ACN’s statement is the misinformation they are giving Nigerians on the stifling of press freedom. Neither the intention of the law nor the contents of the order can be interpreted except by professional mischief makers to mean a suppression of press freedom.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the order is not meant to stop journalists from carrying out their duties or function of news gathering or reporting as they differ from terrorist activities. Rather, the order is out to criminalize acts of incitement by anyone, group of persons or institutions to commit terrorist acts through dissemination of terrorist information.
“It is only a jaundiced organization with no clear perspective on governance or respect for truth that will state that the only transformation observable is that of transforming from a democratically elected president to an emperor or despot.
The declaration is bestial, puerile and irresponsible. Never in the history of this country has a president laid much emphasis on political liberalism than President Jonathan has done.”
Presidency however said that
ACN is unhappy with present peace and calm enjoyed by residents of the states under emergency rule.