Insecurity: APC Warns Obasanjo, Jonathan against Spreading Hate Speech, Intolerance

Lanre Issa Onilu
  • Take urgent measures to end insecurity, PDP tells Buhari

Chuks Okocha and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has warned former elective office holders against spreading hate and intolerance, adding that their recent interventions are not patriotic but in pursuance of their political and selfish interests.

The ruling party in a statement Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said inciting actions and rhetoric are counterproductive and dangerous, particularly in a multi-ethnic country such like Nigeria.

It spoke against the backdrop of concerns on the worsening security situation in the country expressed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Obasanjo had in an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, warned the president that Nigeria was on the edge of the precipice, calling for urgent steps to find lasting solutions before Nigeria witnesses the Rwandan-type genocide or turn to another Yugoslavia.

Similarly, Jonathan, during his condolence visit to Chief Reuben Fasoranti, whose daughter, `Mrs. Funke Olakunrin was killed by gunmen in Ondo State, had said the security situation was deteriorating and urged the federal government to approach finding solutions from different dimension.

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the same day, urged Buhari to take urgent steps to stem the insecurity pervading the country.

The APC said it was disturbed by recent reckless and provocative statements ascribed to some leaders.

“The APC notes public concerns over cases of violent crimes recorded in some parts of the country, particularly in the recent and unfortunate killing of Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Chief Rueben Fasoranti, Afenifere leader.

“Losing a loved one is never easy to come to terms with, particularly in such unfortunate circumstance. We join the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and all peace-loving Nigerians in extending condolences to the family of the late Funke Olakunrin on the sad and painful loss.

“However, the APC is disturbed by recent reckless and provocative statements ascribed to some leaders and interests in the country.

“Inciting actions and rhetoric are counterproductive and dangerous particularly in a multi-ethnic country such as ours. Terrorism, kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and other crimes must be condemned by all. There is nothing like an Isoko, Gwari or Awori robber because criminality has no tribe in the eyes of the law.

“We must remind ourselves that many of the recorded genocides all over the world started through unchecked prejudices and systematic profiling of racial, political and cultural groups. God forbid our dear country descends into such savagery,’’ the party added

It rejected the notion of a Nigeria where any ethnic group is unwelcome in any part of the country, saying every Nigerian must be free to live and work in safety anywhere in the country.

“The leaders have an important duty to be temperate in their language and actions. We must be wary of partisan individuals, many of whom formerly occupied elective positions but failed to tackle many of the criminalities we face today.

“We must be wary of these leaders who now play to the gallery to incite, spread hate and intolerance in the country. Their interventions are not patriotic but in pursuance of their political and selfish interests,” the party said.

The APC, however, urged the Buhari administration, the National Assembly, religious, traditional, political leaders and all well-meaning Nigerians not to be distracted by the unpatriotic antics.

Also yesterday, the PDP criticised the president for describing the killings, bloodletting, violence and widespread kidnapping in various parts of the country as “isolated” cases.

It described Buhari’s comment as unfortunate, adding that it further exposes the incompetence of his presidency as well as its insensitivity to the pain and anguish of victims of violence under this administration.

The party urged him to take immediate steps to stem insecurity.

In a statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, the main opposition party said such underplay of serious security situation, particularly at this time that many communities and families in Nigeria are hurting and looking up to leaders for comfort and assurances, was a direct spat on the graves of the victims and assault on the sensibility of compatriots.

“Do President Buhari and the leaders of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), know the excruciating pain of orphans and widows in various parts of our nation, who daily live in anguish over the death of their breadwinners in the hands of marauders, bandits and insurgents?

“Do the president and the APC know the torment of families whose loved ones are languishing in kidnappers’ dens; or the pain of parents whose promising sons and daughters never returned, but cut in their prime by killers?

“Do the president and APC leaders know the terror of travelling on our roads and the torture of falling into the hands of kidnappers and bandits?

It is indeed sad that while our nation is mourning, leaders sit in their comfort and safety to make insensitive comments,” the party said.

The PDP charged the president to immediately take decisive steps that will end the killings and violence.