Presidency: They are incoherent
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo and Muhammad Bello
The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has accused the federal government of undue politicisation of the country's security crisis.
The party regretted that security of lives and property, which is among the pre-eminent desire of Nigerians has been an elusive phenomenon under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government.
However, in a swift reaction, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, described the party's statement as incoherent and tainted with malice.
In a statement issued yesterday by CPC's National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, the party accused the Jonathan regime of making political profit from the menace of insecurity instead of obliterating the scourge from the nation’s landscape.
Fashakin cited the policy somersault associated with the eventual acceptance of a proposal for amnesty for the Boko Haram insurgents as a sign of lack of sincerity by government to deal with the security problem.
"After the initial presidential reticence in agreeing to amnesty for the Boko Haram insurgents, and when confronted with reasoned arguments, President Jonathan decided on commencement of talks ostensibly leading to amnesty," it said.
The opposition party took a swipe on the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Oritsejafor, for allegedly urging the government not to yield to the dialogue option.
"As the president’s confidante, was he projecting the president’s unexpressed desire? This double-faced posturing by the federal government is undoubtedly, a show of its insincerity, which has quite rightly alienated some of the members of the proposed amnesty committee. Is it not a matter of concern that the more money voted to combat insecurity brings more insecurity, thereby giving justification for more Security allocation?, " he said.
Fashakin gave instance of the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombing when the American President, Mr. Barack Obama, reassuringly tried to assure traumatised Americans of government's determination to track down the bombers.
He said the American security took less than five days to decapitate the two suspected bombers, whereas the October 1, 2010, bomb blasts near the Eagle square, Abuja, almost turned mysterious.
"The Nigerian President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, being more preoccupied with gaining some electoral credit through guiding public opinion to a decided outcome, declared to the nation that it was not the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). It did not matter anymore that formal investigation and subsequent litigious procedure had confirmed the culpability of MEND in the bombing.
"In essence, the Nigerian President, not only showed insularity unbecoming of a national leader, but was only pre-eminently concerned about winning his party’s nomination while the nation burned!
According to Fashakin, the post-election violence in April 2011 that disrupted the peace in some parts of northern Nigeria was seen as a spontaneous reaction of the people to the subversion of their electoral rights.
However, he said some people brazenly demanded the arrest of CPC leader, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) even without any evidence of culpability.
"It did not matter that the fashionable cleric did not possess verifiable evidence to support his claim. This was seen as President Jonathan’s attempt at polarising the polity along religious lines in an iniquitous divide-and-rule scheme.
"In the last two years, the Nigerian government has been patronising ex-militant lords with hefty security contracts in a manner that showed abandonment of the constitutional function of the Nigeria Police. This government’s action, perceived as deleterious to the socio-political harmony of the land, is being intensified in other regions of the country, ahead of the regime’s preparation for another election in 2015."
Meanwhile, Abati said the statement credited to the CPC spokesman was characterised by the political posturing of many opposition political parties that had been defeated by the ruling PDP.
According to him, anybody that has been keenly following political exchanges will know that the opposition parties fabricate political statements just to say something, even if it was not true.
Fashakin's statement, Abati said "is a thoroughly incoherent, stream of conscious rambling that serves no purpose other than that it fits into a pattern of perpetual heckling and “wolf crying” by a defeated, unimaginative group that hides under the guise of being an opposition."
"More discerning persons know the truth: that the CPC and its ACN conspirators will say anything no matter how unreasonable just so they can be seen to be saying something in the name of politics," he added.
He further explained that: "the Jonathan administration remains resolutely committed to the pursuit of the transformation agenda and will not be distracted or discouraged by those who in hustling for relevance have chosen to place their selfish interests before and above the national interest."