All Progressives Congress (APC) has said President Goodluck Jonathan is exhibiting the traits of an insensitive and utterly hardhearted leader by returning to his illegal campaign trail, barely 24 hours after 75 of his compatriots died in a bomb blast in Abuja, and as news broke that over 100 school girls have been abducted by Boko Haram in Borno.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also renewed its call on the President to urgently convene a
stakeholders’ summit and pursue a non-partisan approach towards ending the insurgency, as it is now very obvious that the challenge posed by it is beyond the capacity of the government.

It said the President’s quick return to the hustings was reprehensible and has shown that his visit to the scene of the blast was merely to avoid the kind of flak he has received for refusing to visit Yobe, where 43 school children were massacred recently, rather than a genuine show of sympathy by a truly compassionate leader.

”The message that President Jonathan is sending to Nigerians is that keeping his plum job, at all cost, is more important to him than the security and welfare of the same people who voted him into office. Otherwise, the President would not have rushed back to his illegal campaign trail at a time he should be leading the nation in mourning the dead.

”A President who said his ambition is not worth the blood of anyone is now dancing gleefully on the graves of over 70 of his compatriots. What is so important about the illegal campaign stop in Kano on Tuesday that could not have waited for the smoke to clear from the scene of the deadly blast on Monday? Who will President Jonathan rule over when his countrymen and women are being daily mowed down under his watch?

”Without mincing words, President Jonathan erred badly by not showing enough sympathy for the victims of Monday’s blast. More people died in the blast than from Kenya’s mall shooting last September, yet President Uhuru Kenyatta declared three days of national mourning
during which flags at public buildings flew at half mast and the people of Kenya prayed for the dead and the injured.

”In 2012, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari ordered the immediate postponement of all activities long planned to mark his 70th birthday, following the death in a helicopter crash of Gen. Azazi, Gov. Yakowa and others in a helicopter crash in Bayelsa. Such is the stuff of a great leader.

”Even if President Jonathan does not want to mourn the death of the citizens, he should have at least kept a low profile for a few days to avoid a repeat of the disgusting show last February, when he led others to pop champagne corks and clink glasses at the wasteful centenary celebration right after at least 43 school children were massacred in Yobe. Nigerians are now asking; ‘Would the President have returned so quickly to the soapbox if any of his family members had suffered the fate that befell the victims of the blast, or if any of his appointees had been a victim?’

”How can a President whose failure of leadership has led to the untimely deaths of 1,500 mostly civilians in the hands of terrorists this year alone be so numb to the fate and plight of those who voted him into office? Or how else does one describe the action of a President who was in a celebratory mood in Kano on Tuesday, even when the surviving victims are still writhing in pain in various hospitals, the bodies of the victims are still lying cold in the morgue and the fate of dozens of abducted school girls remains unknown?” APC queried.

The party urged President Jonathan, as a father, a leader and a human being, to take a moment of deep introspection, to reflect on his actions, adding: ”Perhaps he will realize that long after the glitz of office would have dimmed and the retinue of lick-spittle aides would have vanished, a leader would be remembered more for his humanity than his vanities.”

APC said it was imperative for the President to hearken to the voice of reason because his aides and party officials, desperate not to be pushed off the gravy train, would rather blame everyone but the President and themselves for the woes that have befallen Nigeria under the President’s watch.

In a swift reaction, however,? the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)? described the statement by the? APC portraying President Goodluck Jonathan as ?heartless? for not shutting down governance over the terrorist attack in Abuja, as yet? another demonstration of APC?s support for terrorist agenda against the? country.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh in a statement on Wednesday said ?it is common knowledge that those behind the attacks seek to impose a reign of terror in our country, cow the President, dictate the tempo of government and ultimately shut down governance; a? plot which the APC has betrayed its support for.?

Stating that the PDP-led Federal Government cannot in anyway be cowed or intimidated to abandon its mandate, the statement stressed that President Jonathan has remained committed to the welfare and security of all Nigerians.

?Indeed, Nigerians are no longer at loss as to the agenda of the APC.? The APC has again exposed its support for acts directly aimed at shutting down governance and imposing anarchy and reign of terror on our people. They had expected the President to be intimidated by acts of terrorism which have continued to be motivated by their utterances.

?However, we wish to restate that as a party vested with the sacred mandate freely given by over 160 million Nigerians, the leadership of the PDP and the government we formed shall not be cowed, intimidated, harassed or tele-guided by acts of terrorism. The PDP-led administration was popularly elected by the Nigerian people and shall never allow terrorists and their supporters to dictate the tempo of government, which has been their direct objective.

?It is a globally settled principle that no government allows terrorist to influence the course of its action otherwise they have achieved their purpose. This is why the Conservative Party continued with its
convention in Brighton, in October of 1984, even though the then Prime? Minister, Margaret Thatcher, was almost killed by an IRA bomb that? exploded at the venue of the convention. During that incidence, five people were killed, including two high-profile members of the? Conservative Party, and 31 were injured?, the statement said.

The party noted that contrary to the allegations by the APC, President Jonathan has continued to be sensitive and responsive to the welfare of all Nigerians. It recalled that the President cancelled his planned trip to Ibadan, visited the scene of the blasts and the injured and gave directives on the matter.

It also recalled that after the Dana Crash of June 3, 2012, the government flew the Nigerian flag at half-mast and the President and the Federal Government wisely refrained from celebrations.

Calling on Nigerians to be vigilant and wary of the APC, the PDP commended President Jonathan for remaining steadfast and focused in delivering his Transformation Agenda in spite of the insurgency and
unnecessary attacks by the opposition.

Source National Accord


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