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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has strongly condemned the recent deadly terrorist attacks in Abuja and Bauchi that killed at least 37 people and injured many more, calling the Boko Haram group suspected to be behind the attacks despicable and inhuman in its misguided terror campaign.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party repeated its earlier statement that nothing can justify the spilling of the blood of innocent citizens, while commiserating with the families of the victims.
It called on the Federal Government to review its strategy for the fight against terrorism, saying whatever is being done now is definitely not working, hence the deadly terrorist attacks have almost become a daily affair.
”Whatever strategy being used by this Federal Government is not yielding enough positive results. Otherwise, these terrorists would not have gone from carrying out their attacks on the outskirts of a city like Abuja, for example, to exploding a bomb right in the heart of the city as was witnessed in Wuse 2 last week,” APC said.
The party wondered in particular why Abuja has remained so vulnerable to such attacks, considering the millions of Naira reportedly spent on the CCTV project that was supposed to help secure the city, asking: ”Or has this project again become a victim of the runaway corruption and incompetence for which this administration is renowned?”
The party said instead of reaching out across partisan lines as the opposition has suggested several times, the Federal Government has resorted to chasing shadows while the killing of innocent citizens intensifies
”The scorecard of this Federal Government in the fight against terror is very dismal. Some 76 days after over 200 girls were abducted from Chibok, the girls are not any nearer home today than they were on the day they were abducted, and all the clueless and ineffective Administration of President Jonathan can do is to engage in image laundering that has caused the taxpayers US$1.2 million; witch-hunt the media as well as those perceived to be opponents of the Administration and engage in a continuous and unprecedented abuse of national institutions.
”This Administration could have pumped the US$1.2 million it frittered away in the name of image laundering in the US into the fight against terror, which seems to have waned. Unfortunately, as the President kicked started his wasteful image laundering with an op-ed in The Washington Post, he was being skewered in another US newspaper, The New York Post.
”The paper’s (New York Post) Editorial Board wrote of the President’s newspaper diplomacy: ‘Remember, this is the same leader whose military initially claimed it had freed the girls, whose wife’s anger was directed at Nigerians protesting the government’s inaction rather than the kidnappers and who presides over Africa’s largest economy and fourth-largest armed forces’.
”There is no better demonstration of the fact that the Administration has wasted public funds on a misbegotten image laundering than this,” it said.
APC also described the treatment meted out to pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia for lesser Hajj from the Maiduguri airport as another in a series of shadow-chasing by the government, which will rather misuse national institutions to flex muscles against innocent citizens than tackle the terrorists headlong.
The party said forcing the pilgrims to travel by road from Maiduguri to Kano to be airlifted is callous and poorly-thought-out, considering the dangers they are likely to face on the road.
”The argument that the airlifting from Maiduguri was stopped at the last minute because of security is hogwash. Is that also the same reason that a private plane that flew into the same airport with eight people on board was forced to fly back empty after those who wanted to travel in it were prevented from doing so? Is it the same security reason that forced the closure of Akure airport even as planes that ferried APC leaders to the airport were on the tarmac? Is it also why newspapers were targeted across the nation?
”The truth is that the Jonathan Administration is playing dirty politics with the fight against terror, using national institutions to abridge constitutionally-guaranteed rights,” it said.
APC advised the Federal Government to stop wasting public funds on image laundering because no good advert can sell a bad product.
”This government should realize that its raison d’etre is the security and welfare of Nigerians, and that it has failed woefully in this regard. Therefore, it should be humble enough to admit its limitations and then reach out to all stakeholders, including those in the opposition, to rejig its anti-terror strategy and save our innocent citizens from the killings and maiming by Boko Haram,” the party said.