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Analysis: Why Jonathan Played Down the Impeachment Threat?

By on July 20, 2012

The Presidential spokesperson Reuben Abati may be a master of the game of public relations or the President may simply be made of teflon.

After threats to impeach the Presidency were, yesterday, leveled by bi-partisan members of the House of Representatives, the Presidency has simply refused to respond to the threat, choosing to focus on the issues instead, in what may be some of the finest political wrangling of late.

The House of Representatives are obviously in discord with the Presidency over many issues, however budget implementation issue is not prominent among any of the other pressing issues for such an impeachment call to be made.

The poor level of budget execution by the Executive arm pales in comparison to the threat of Boko Haram which keeps the FG very busy.

Not to sing the laurels of the Presidential spokesperson but he has indeed helped the Presidency dribble faster than Maradona on some of the more pressing issues facing the country.

One of which is, admittedly, the poor level of 2012 budget implementation. However in the Presidential response, the House appears to have been thoroughly dribbled.

Here is the response Mr. Abati gave yesterday to the calls for Jonathan’s impeachment by the Lawmakers in their session earlier yesterday:

“Two weeks ago at the Federal Executive Council (FEC), President Jonathan had earlier directed the Minister of Finance as part of the effort to ensure that budget 2012 was fully implemented to come to council with records of level of  performance by each MDA and the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister duly complied and yesterday, the document was distributed.

“This is a fact of commitment and indication that budget implementation is something he personally, by implication takes very seriously.

“Now, what is the second implication of this?

“Today (Thursday), just today as I speak to you, the President, personally chaired two meetings, because following the directives, the President further directed that each ministry should provide its Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in relation to budget 2012.

“By this, the ministers are to indicate the level of performance, how much have been collected and how much spent and if there are challenges.

“Today, as I speak, the President chaired two such meetings. Two ministries, Interior and Police Affairs,  defended alongside the agencies under them.

“It was after these meetings that this issue of the House came up.

“What I am saying, therefore, is that President Jonathan and the House are on the same page in terms of ensuring budget performance. What I can tell you is that budgeting process in terms of implementation, is a continuous process. There is no problem at all”.

It appears Reuben Abati may be one reason the Jonathan administration is not so clueless after all.

By totally ignoring the issue of impeachment, the Executive is subtly flexing its muscles at the Legislators. This show of confidence is like a member of the California Blood Gang walking by a stable of bulls with effortless swagger.

The public is still waiting on the response from the House, but as they gather their ‘impeachment’ ammunition, it may be best they do so more thoughtfully.