President Muhammadu Buhari said Tuesday that the defection of some All Progressives Congress, APC, members in the National Assembly to opposition parties political will not in any way harm his aspirations or that of the party.
Buhari also said he harboured no grievances against the senators and members of the House of Representatives who have dumped the APC.
He further stated that he was committed to the tenets of democracy and freedom of choices and that he was willing to work with members of the National Assembly for the good of the country, irrespective of their political affiliations.
The President in a statement by Malam Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in Abuja, said the lawmakers did not have any issues with him but their home states.
“In his reaction to the developments Tuesday morning at the National Assembly, the President noted that none of the defecting federal lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress, APC, had any specific grievance against him or the government he leads; neither did he harbour anything against any of them.
“As the saying goes, all politics is local. We understand that some of the distinguished and honourable lawmakers have issues with their home states, especially on zoning, which bars some of them from seeking another term in their constituencies.”
Noting that the APC had done its utmost to stop the defections, the President commended the leadership of the party for relentlessly working for its unity and ensuring success in the upcoming elections.
President Buhari assured members of the APC of his total support and urged party faithful not to despair but to see the defections as a seasonal occurrence that happens on election eve.
He expressed confidence that no harm or injury will be done to the party and its aspirations by the movements and wished all the decamped members the best in their future undertakings.
Meanwhile, the Presidency which stated Tuesday that Muhammadu Buhari does not direct the security agencies on what to do, also stated that the law of the land does not discriminate against the citizenry, no matter their position in the society.
According to the Presidency, that anybody that commits any infraction should be able to defend himself.
In a statement by Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in Abuja, the Presidency stated that the country would become a better place when law enforcement agencies were allowed to do their jobs without undue politicisation.
The statement read, “The Presidency has taken note of the orchestrated campaign against President Muhammadu Buhari each time a Very Important Person, VIP, is invited by the law enforcement agencies in the discharge of their legitimate duties and functions.
“The law of the land is intended for all, not for the poor or those at the lowest rungs of the social ladder. It is odd, strange and bizarre that while ordinary citizens can be called up to answer questions or be interrogated, the VIP cannot be questioned without the annoying insinuations of partisanship, persecution or outright politicization.
“This country cannot achieve development in peace when important cases are viewed through a political prism and the law is considered as being applicable to some, and not to others.
“The workings of law enforcement agencies are set out in the constitution and the laws of the country. If they worked at the discretion of past presidents, who decided who to question and who to detain, Nigerians should get used to the fact that this President is different. President Buhari does not and will not influence or interfere with cases.
“The constitution clearly directs law enforcement agencies to promptly report and investigate any actual or potential infringement of the law and also initiate proceedings against all those involved.
“This President is not the one who directs them on what to do. President Buhari does not stand in the way of law enforcement either. Under our constitution, he has no powers to stop the investigation of anyone or institution. When they are set to investigate anything and anyone, the best friend of the law is the one who lets them do their work.
“The President’s constant refrain is that he will not tolerate any form of illegality, including corruption and the law enforcement agencies have been given complete freedom to identify and bring all culprits to justice. His instructions to them are very clear: Anyone with a case to answer or found guilty should not be spared.
“Accused persons should approach the courts to plead their innocence rather than going to the public to plead persecution.
“The country is better served when the law enforcement agencies are allowed to do their work and we must stop the actors of this dangerous game of politicizing law enforcement.”