The All Progressives Congress (APC) has told the PDP that President Goodluck Jonathan is not the first minority to rule Nigeria and will not be the last, hence the frequent resort to his minority ethnicity is nothing but a poorly-veiled attempt to cover up his blatant incompetence, poor leadership and sheer cluelessness.
In a statement issued in Ibadan on Thursday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the PDP?s claim that the Boko Haram insurgency and other internecine crises in the country were being sponsored by the opposition because the President hails from a minority group is totally irresponsible and absolutely not grounded in fact.
It said First Republic Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa (Sayewa) and military heads of state Yakubu Gowon (Angas) and Sani Abacha (Kanuri) were also from minority ethnic groups, a fact that is lost on the trifling PDP.
?The PDP has recently been making outlandish statements and accusations that are capable of destabilizing Nigeria. In its new found proclivity for issuing frivolous press statements, the party has forgotten that facts are sacred and cannot be manipulated. But even by its low standard, the PDP has plumbed the depth of irresponsibility with its latest claim.
?President Jonathan?s woes have nothing to do with his minority ethnicity, but the manifestation of his incompetence, cluelessness and inferiority complex, and the fact that he is backed by a greedy, visionless and crooked cabal, both within his government and his party,? APC said.
The party said if indeed the PDP believes the opposition is sponsoring Boko Haram to stop President Jonathan from realizing his so-called Transformation Agenda, what prevents the PDP-led Federal Government from instituting a probe into all the incidences so far, and to unravel the sources of the sect?s weapons, as demanded recently by Gov. Murtala Nyako?
APC said just like ethno-religious crises in Nigeria predate President Jonathan?s assumption of office, the Boko Haram insurgency started in 2002 during the Obasanjo regime, even though it became aggravated in 2009 when then President Umaru Musa Yar?Adua ordered a joint security operation, following the killing of over a dozen policemen, and the failure of police action to curb the crisis.
The party said it is public knowledge that the operation led to the killing of an estimated 1,000 alleged Boko Haram members, including the extra-judicial murder of sect leader Muhammed Yusuf, and set the stage for the insurgency that Nigeria is witnessing today.
?Even then, the insurgency that could have been quickly curtailed has worsened under President Jonathan because of his ineffectual leadership. Instead of tackling the insurgency decisively as a well-honed leader would have done, the clueless President and his equally feckless party have resorted to blaming the opposition and everyone but themselves for the worsening of the crisis,? it said.
APC said the usual recourse to President Jonathan?s ethnic origin to cover his glaring non-performance does not impress Nigerians, who are aware that as a minority, Jonathan could not have become President without the votes of the country?s majority ethnic groups- Hausa/Fulani, Igbo and Yoruba
?In any case, if the PDP is arguing that President Jonathan is being ?persecuted? because he hails from a minority ethnic group, is it the majority ethnic groups that supposedly voted massively for him that are now persecuting him? And what will be their reasons for persecuting the same man they voted into office?
?The truth is that President Jonathan is overwhelmed by the demands of his office, and his party is more interested in looting the public treasury than assisting him to succeed,? the party said. ?The President and his party should admit their failure to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigeria and give way to those who are willing and able to perform.?
APC said a country that has no discernible counter-terrorism strategy that will clearly identify the multiple means for preventing, responding and defeating terrorist groups, including the alignment of political, military, social and economic instruments and objectives, cannot expect to successfully battle any insurgency.
?We have continued to offer suggestions to this government on how it can tackle the insurgency that is now ravaging a part of the country.We have called for improved intelligence gathering, the aligning of military and political solutions, the need to de-radicalize the affected areas as well as to invest in research that will give more insight into the different aspects of Boko Haram, including its ideology, leadership structure, profile of members, internal organization, sources of funding and weapons and links to diaspora.
?We have stressed the need to widen the scope of our response to include the sub-regional bloc ECOWAS and the continental body African Union, especially since Boko Haram has assumed a regional dimension. We have called for a Marshall Plan of sorts for the North-east, not the paltry 2 billion Naira which the FG provided as recovery fund to the six North-east states, at least four of which are worse-hit by the insurgency.
?We have called for an end to inter-agency rivalries that have weakened the fight against the terrorists, and we have advocated the need to lift the morale of our gallant men and women in uniform who are battling the insurgency, instead of the huge funds allocated for the purpose of upgrading their equipment ending in the deep pockets of fat cats.
?If and when these and other recommendations are taken seriously by the government, instead of resorting to ethnic and religious excuses, then it will begin to seriously address the insurgency,? the party said.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed
Interim National Publicity Secretary