After Five Years & 14 Billion US Dollars Spent, Boko Haram Is Stronger – APC Tells FG

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has expressed its shock and revulsion at Wednesday’s bomb attacks in Kaduna that targeted one of its leaders, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, as well as prominent cleric Dahiru Bauchi and left hordes of innocent civilians dead or injured.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party sent its condolences to the families of the victims and pray that God will give them the much-needed strength at times like this, while also wishing the injured a speedy recovery.

It said the attempted assassination of Gen. Buhari has changed the narrative about the insurgent group and knocked the bottom off the sinister, irresponsible and partisan colouration given to the insurgency by the Federal Government.

APC said while no one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, the mere fact that it occurred at all is a lose-lose situation for the Jonathan Administration.

”Whether it is Boko Haram or not, one thing remains: This government has failed woefully in its core constitutional duty of protecting the security and welfare of the citizenry. And we mean all the citizens, not just the leaders!

”And contrary to the simplistic and clearly selfish portrayal of the Boko Haram insurgency as a sinister plot to bring down the government of Jonathan, it should now be clear to the FG that has engaged in ceaseless finger-pointing instead of tackling the insurgency headlong that Boko Haram is an enemy of Nigeria and of all of humanity.

”It is a real problem that is capable of consuming this country if immediate and urgent steps are not made now by the FG to move away from its politicization of the crisis, its decision to use it as a trump card for President Jonathan’s re-election and exploit it as a ticket to international relevance for the President. If anything untoward had happened to Gen. Buhari on Wednesday, the consequences are only better imagined than witnessed!

”If indeed the APC is behind Boko Haram and Gen. Buhari is a sympathizer of the evil group, as the FG wants the world to believe, could it be that the insurgents do not know their leaders or sympathizers, assuming they are behind the attack? If they are not responsible for the attack, doesn’t that support the theory in some circles that Boko Haram has become a franchise, hence there is the Boko Haram of Abubakar Shekau and the political Boko Haram?

”Whatever happens now, the satanic and repulsive theory of the PDP-led FG that the opposition APC is using Boko Haram to truncate the Administration of Jonathan is up in flames. Therefore, it is time for them to change the narrative, see Boko Haram for what it is – an enemy of Nigeria – and rally the citizenry, irrespective of their political, ethnic or religious affiliation, behind the government’s efforts to tackle it decisively,” the party said.

It said that as a first step, President Jonathan must immediately stop the wasteful contract he signed with the US-based firm Levick to help demonize the APC as the sponsor of Boko Haram, and to demonize any Nigerian who is perceived to be an enemy of the government. It is this kind of demonization, using pseudo and out-of-job analysts, that helped to set the stage for Wednesday’s failed assassination attempt against Gen. Buhari.

”Then the President must address Nigerians to tell them that Boko Haram is not just an enemy of his government, it is an enemy of the opposition, of Christians, of Muslims and of the different ethnic groups.

”Instead of dividing Nigerians along religious, ethnic and political lines, President Jonathan should borrow a leaf from his predecessors. Obasanjo never said the Niger Delta militancy was aimed at his government or his people, he tackled it headlong. Yar’Adua it was who finally ended the militancy, without saying it was aimed at his government or his people,” APC said.

The party reiterated its earlier stand that only a non-partisan approach will galvanize Nigerians against Boko Haram, which is rooted more in the years of bad governance that have resulted in mass unemployment, massive corruption, economic imbalances and made the youth to become hopeless, thus creating an army of willing tools for criminal activities.

It repeated its offer to work with the FG to battle Boko Haram and its call for a national stakeholders’ conference to help fashion out a comprehensive counter-insurgent blueprint for the nation.

APC said rather than just throwing money at what has now become a bottomless pit, rather than creating the avenue for some unpatriotic citizens to feed fat on the insurgency, the FG should engage in new thinking.

”After almost five years and 14 billion US dollars, Boko Haram is stronger today than ever. Whereas the average death toll in the previous years has been 1,500, more than 3,500 people have been killed so far this year! There is no stronger evidence that what is needed to successfully fight Boko Haram is not just 1 billion dollars, but a comprehensive approach that includes efforts to tackle the social and economic roots of the insurgency,” the party said.

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