Starconnect Media
Interview

President Accuses Lawmakers of Parliamentary Dictatorship

To Continue Emergency Rule

Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal
Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal
President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday accused lawmakers, specifically, the Aminu Tambuwal-led House of Representatives of parliamentary dictatorship.

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The president who was speaking in a media chat broadcast throughout the world was attending to a question bordering on the house probe of the Minister of Petroleum Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke for hiring a private jet for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over a period for N10 billion.

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The President said the house has enormous powers which ought to exercised with some level of caution. According to him, if the President decides to exercise 60 percent of his powers, he will be accused of dictatorship.

He alluded to the House’s insistence that he must sack, the Director General of the Stock Exchange, Ms. Arunma Oteh for exposing members of the house. He added that the house is full of politicians, adding that there is more politicking in the house than actual work.

He said the Minister of Petroleum has appeared before the house for more than 200 times adding that government will collapse if the house insists on keeping the minister under perpetual questioning for 24 hours.

The President who restated his commitment to rescuing the girls kidnapped from Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno said President Barack Obama of American has promised to give him necessary assistance in the search and rescue effort and the quest to tackle the menace of Boko Haram in Nigeria. He said he is also having the support of governments of neighboring states like Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

The President said the operation of Boko Haram is different from the Niger Delta militants whom he said are not terrorists. According to him, the militants had leaders with a mission that government could relate with.
He said he met leader of the Niger Delta Volunteer Force, Mujaheed Asari Dokubo first in Government House when he was invited for a meeting.

He contrasted the militants with Boko Haram whom he said has not put up a leader that government can negotiate with. According to him, Boko Haram is a sect of killers who are determined to bring down government. He said government is determined to rescue the abducted girls and called for patience and cooperation from their guidance adding that with their cooperation, government will fish out the girls.

He commended the security forces for their efforts so far adding that until the recent attacks on Nyanya, the security forces has been able to reduce the onslaught. He said the security forces have foiled many plots on Abuja adding that government is recruiting more security personal with specialized training and equipment to enable them deal with the insurgents. He said the military has not been sufficiently equipped in the past since insurgents is a new phenomenon.

He said that government may extend emergency rule in the three North-east states adding that emergency rule has assisted in bringing down the insurgent since it is able to circumvent instigation which could be obstacle. He however said he is still consulting on the matter.

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He said it is not true that military men used helicopters to drop arms for Boko Haram as alleged by many adding that those who alleged should have been able to show proof via photographs since helicopters are not known for moving with the speed of military jets.

He said most of the information supplied by the public as to location of the girls have not been helpful and that the military has combed all the alleged hideouts but came out with nothing adding that the military have continued to intensify their efforts to fish out the girls. He said he never said Boko Haram has infiltrated his cabinet but that what he said was that Boko Haram has infiltrated government and that he made the statement at a time that a lawmaker was being prosecuted based on his links with the sect. He said government is also investigating some members of the security forces said to have links with the radical sect.

On the missing money in the NNPC, the president said audit of the establishment is ongoing adding however that from $49 billion, the suspended Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi came down to $12 billion only to come out and say it is now $20 billion. The president said that $20 billion is not a small amount of money which can only be stolen through transfers. According to him such amount of money cannot escape the prying eyes of the US whom he said has assisted Nigeria in tracking some of the funds stolen in the past.

He said that some of the cases of corruption are just mere allegations that have not been verified. According to him, if the president were to sack ministers on the basis of allegations he will have no minister to work with in due course.

On power supply the president said situation will continue to improve and that Nigeria will never return to the era of 2000 megawats from the present 4000 megawats. He said there are problem with gas supply as well as metres adding that government is sourcing funds from the World Bank to address these needs. He said Nigerians should not be concerned about his declaration to run or not to since the major opposition, the All Progressive Congress(APC) is yet to name its candidate. He said Nigerians should be concerned with management of the economy and security challenges.

On the African version of the World Economic Forum, kicking off Wednesday and ending Friday, the President said there is a partial closure of government as a result of the number of head of government that have indicated interest in the forum so as to avoid keeping Nigerians in traffic for over five hours due to ongoing construction in the Federal Capital Territory. He said it is not the first time that governments will be closing down essential services for a forum of that nature.

He said Netherland was closed down for two days during the last Nuclear summit, the same thing was done in Australia. He appealed to Nigerians to bear with government adding that Nigeria will benefit from the summit based on the recent rebasing of the economy but that the gains will not materialize overnight.

Emmanuel Ukudolo

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