The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described as uncouth, uncharitable and insulting to Nigerians the presidency’s reaction to last week’s visit of the progressive governors to Borno state, wondering when it became an offence for Nigerians to visit any other part of their country.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the presidency’s reaction can only be likened to the antics of a punch-drunk boxer who, having been knocked out by his opponent, suddenly got up and started punching the referee whom he mistook for the guy who knocked him out.
"There is no doubt that the visit of the governors was a knock-out for the waffling presidency. Now punch-drunk, the clearly disoriented presidency has resorted to blaming the courageous and trail-blazing governors whose only offence is that they dared to show solidarity for the people of Borno and Yobe, the two states that have been worst-hit by the Boko Haram crisis.
These governors dismissed the presidency’s shameless attempt to scare them away from Borno with a cooked security report. They walked around the volatile Maiduguri market without bullet proof vests or helmets, to the chagrin of the President and Commander-in-Chief who has opted to hide behind the Aso Rock fortress," it said.
ACN said that for the presidency to now choose to denigrate the governors and accuse them of crass opportunism is the height of irresponsibility.
"Most laughable is the accusation that the governors preempted the visit of President Jonathan to Borno. Who did the presidency inform of his impending visit? When did it become the business of governors to tailor their movement to that of the President? Where has the President been since 2011 when he assumed office after his election?
What took him so long to visit a troubled part of the country, especially since he claimed to have received a pan-Nigeria mandate? The truth is that the President was so embarrassed by the visit of the governors that he quickly packaged his own visit.
Instead of quietly licking its wounds, the presidency opted to dance naked in the market square by accusing those who blazed the trail, who showed the way to a clueless and visionless federal government.
Irrespective of what the presidency may say, the beleaguered people of Borno and Yobe appreciate the solidarity of their fellow Nigerians, as shown by the governors’ visit. The people of Nigeria also appreciate the courage and compassion of the governors. Anyone trying to denigrate the visit is attracting more love for the governors and public opprobrium for the presidency," the party said.
ACN also reacted to the accusation that it is playing politics with the killing of the Commissioner of Police of Kwara State, saying the part’s statement, that the killing of such a top security chief sends a wrong signal about the state of the country’s security, cannot be faulted by any right-thinking person.
"How are we playing politics by calling for reinforced security for those whose responsibility it is to protect others? Where is the politics in calling for the apprehension and prosecution of those behind the dastardly act? What is wrong in calling the attention of a prostrate presidency to the worsening insecurity in the country?
Contrary to the presidency’s statement that President Jonathan has performed well in curbing insurgency, the truth is that the presidency – bereft of ideas on how to curb the insurgency – has instead chosen to bury its head in the sand, like the proverbial ostrich.
Otherwise, it would have known that the senseless killings by Boko Haram has continued. Only on Tuesday, gunmen killed a DPO and nine others in Borno, in what has been a daily trend in recent days, despite the cease-fire concocted by a desperate and clueless federal government," the party said.