The presidency has responded to an alleged presidential directive seeking to frustrate opposition parties’ merger into All Progressives Congress (APC).
It was reported in a section of Nigerian media on Tuesday that there is a presidential directive (PD 95), seeking to frustrate the merging of opposition parties and the proposed hike in petrol prices between N130 and N140.
According to the report, the directive further sought a covert action against former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu and five state governors from the PDP perceived to be ‘ambitious’.
However, the Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the President, Reuben Abati, in a statement on Wednesday denied it:
Find the full statement below:
It is worth pointing out, again, that what is being bandied around by a section of the media as a “Presidential Directive” on Tinubu, APC and other matters, is fictitious, designed to mislead the public, discredit the person and office of President Goodluck Jonathan and cause disaffection within the polity. Careful examination reveals a mishmash of deliberately arranged and concocted lies, presented to the public as evidence of a document emanating from the Presidency. This is not only dubious but raises concerns as to the length certain persons will go to perpetuate falsehood for the sake of their selfish ambitions.
Several interpretations of the purported Presidential directive appear to have been granted prominence by an all-too-negative segment of the media, supported by partisan political jobbers all on the premise of a suspicious-looking “bromide”.
The Presidency affirms that no such directive was ever conceived nor was any such directive put forth by President Goodluck Jonathan or his aides.
It is ironic that this is coming at a time, when the President is actively engaged in serious discussions with various interest groups on how to further deepen the democratic experience as well as the key issue of how to build an economically viable federation.
Nigerians should be wary of such tactic of old, one that seeks to undermine a current administration by creatively espousing imaginary fault lines, with the aid of fake documents to create doubt, fear and disbelief in the minds of citizens and true patriots. We unequivocally state that in this case, as in others that may follow the same path, the Goodluck Jonathan administration has no desire to create any inhibitions to the expression of democratic ideas in the country.
With regards to the imaginary ‘Presidential directive’ released to hoodwink the general public, the government is confident that the discerning public is well aware that this purported document is alien to how things are done within this Presidency.
The physical quality of the unsigned document published today in the Leadership newspaper, with jagged and irregular edges (which make a mockery of both presidential correspondences and the quality of attention paid to sensitive issues and development-oriented policies of Government) should signpost the level of desperation by those who seek to mislead the enlightened electorate of the Federal Republic.
The publication of this spurious document (which was to all intents and purposes hurriedly put together in a roadside business centre!) and the passing-off of same by some media entities should serve as an index on their credibility and sovereign interest. This government believes that the media – print and electronic – has a significant role to play in educating, enlightening and empowering the populace and will continue to support all organizations to do this even as it retains the discretion and responsibility to expose specific institutions that perpetuate falsehood on the sovereign.
The President remains committed to providing good governance to the nation, even in the face of the most uncharitable criticism by people desirous of a chaotic environment for them to thrive. This, we accept as part of a civil engagement between elected officials and the citizenry.
The public and our esteemed crop of journalists are humbly requested to be wary of lurking mischief makers who parade themselves under different garbs and push forth information that should best be ignored, or clarified in the best tradition of the journalism profession.
We reaffirm that the so-called “Bromide of the presidential directive” is false and inconsistent with the governance ethos of the present administration.
Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the President
April 3, 2013