16th December, 2013
Following the call by the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the impeachment of President Goodluck Jonathan, some Nigerians are of the opinion that the allegations levelled against him by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in an 18-page letter should be investigated first before any impeachment.
Our respondents explained that it is when the allegations are found to be true that the National Assembly should commence impeachment proceedings against the president.
The APC, on Sunday called for the impeachment of Jonathan on allegations of gross misconduct.
Reacting to the APC call for impeachment this morning, human rights activist, Bamidele Aturu, said asking for impeachment of the president based on allegations not proven was uncalled for.
“I don’t think we can ask for impeachment when the allegations are not investigated. This is simply premature. The allegations made by Obasanjo need to be investigated.
“APC should not think of getting to power through another means but through the ballot box, especially when issues complained about have not been investigated. If the facts are investigated tomorrow and proved, I will call for Jonathan’s impeachment any day,” he said.
In his own reaction, Lagos lawyer, Festus Keyamo, said it is within the rights of APC to call for the president’s impeachment, saying that the party had become the most virile opposition since independence in 1960.
He stated that the allegations contained in Obasanjo’s letter to Jonathan had sent jitters down the spine of the presidency.
“The country belongs to us all. If the allegations levelled against the president are true, then they are impeachable offences.
“The president needs to be investigated and if it’s true, action should be taken. You can’t say somebody is training a killer squad and the allegation will not be investigated,” Keyamo said.
Former Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, urged the National Assemby to investigate the allegations against the president and determine whether they were impeachable offences or not.
According to him, the allegations contained in Obasanjo’s letter should be thoroughly investigated.
“The bribery allegation levelled by the CBN governor, Lamido Sanusi, against one of the ministers serving under Jonathan should be investigated. The ones made by the Speaker of the House of Representatives that Jonathan is encouraging corruption should be investigated. If these allegations are true, they amount to gross misconduct and impeachable offences,” Musa said.
Convener, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, Comrade Debo Adeniran, said the president cannot be impeached on allegations not proven.
“APC’s call for the impeachment of Jonathan should not be based on the allegations in the letter written by Obasanjo because these allegations are not confirmed, but if confirmed, impeachment process can then begin,” he said.
Director, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, Prof. Lakin Akintola, called for outright impeachment of Jonathan, saying the president is not leading the nation in the right direction.
He accused Jonathan of misusing the powers of his office to hunt down perceived opponents, adding that the longer he stayed in power, the worst for the nation.
In his own reaction, the Lagos State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Captain Tunji Shelle, described the APC stand as absurd.
Shelle said that the APC as an opposition party is looking for co-travellers and relevance by all means, adding that is why they are romancing some PDP governors.
“It is unfortunate that a party without a clear cut ideology, a party that is full of people with unskilled character, a party that is not ready to bear one name and stand by it, a party that changes like chameleon, a party that wants the downfall of the incumbent government, a party that doesn’t stand on its own except it merges with others, definitely, you expect a reaction like this.
“If a former president levelled an allegation, that is personal to him, that is his personal opinion. If they have room to investigate, why didn’t they investigate instead of calling for impeachment. Because some people had defected to their party, they think it will be easy for them, No.
“Those people who left PDP are on their own. They did not go with any member. Example is Rivers State. Amaechi defected and the Senators, House of Reps members and the state lawmakers did not go with him. Same in Sokoto, Adamawa and other states. The APC is making wrong calculations. Structures still count in PDP.
The Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Taofeek Gani, said that the call by the APC for the impeachment of President Goodluck Jonathan, based on the alleged information contained in the letter written by Obasanjo, has further confirmed members of the APC as anarchists.
“Nigerians should not take them serious. They have become a nuisance to the polity. One is surprised that a party that touted itself as a progressive party will on the basis of a mere letter demand for the impeachment of the president of a country when such letter has not been investigated and the man at the centre of the allegations has not been given time to defend himself.
“This has shown that for any opportunity that the APC has, it will be used inimically in the country. They are not progressives, they are reactionaries and anarchists. What they want to do is to fester disunity and acrimony in the land. They should wait till 2015 to test their popularity before Nigerians and not attempt to get from the back door what they are supposed to get at the polls,” he stated.
The Chairman of the PDP’s Elders Forum, Dr. Abayomi Finnih said what everybody should be concerned with is how to make the country peaceful and not over heating the polity.
“I have not really studied what they hinged the impeachment on. I heard it like a rumour. I have not gone into the details of what issues they want to raise on the impeachment process. What everybody should be concerned about should be the peace of this nation. This is not the time to start over heating the polity,” he said.
—Kazeem Ugbodaga, Eromosele Ebhomele, Jamiu Isa & Akin Kuponiyi