APC Govs Agrees To Attend Security Council Meeting…Party Blast Jonathan, PDP For Public Deception
Despite their misgivings over the botched Thursday national security council meeting meant to discuss the rising spate of insurgency in the country, governors of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) have reportedly resolved to attend the enlarged security meeting called by President Goodluck Jonathan for Wednesday.
The governors reportedly decided to attend the meeting because of its deep concern for public safety and peace in all the parts of the country and in order not to allow the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) pin the Boko Haram tag on them in the public space as being attempted by its chieftains.
A source however said the caveat which the governors are attaching to their decision is that they must be properly invited.
The governors also reacted to the claim by the PDP that it deliberately shunned the meeting whereas it was not invited.
Giving an insight into why the APC governors were absent, Imo state governor and Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha claimed the governors were in Abuja ahead of the meeting but were later informed that the meeting had been postponed.
Okorocha in a statement personally signed by him and made available to newsmen in Abuja expressed consternation over insinuations that the APC governors deliberately stayed away from the meeting.
“The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) is concerned about the attempt to insinuate that APC Governors boycotted the Thursday meeting of the National Security Council. For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state categorically that all APC governors received invitations to the meeting, but were later informed on Tuesday night by the Presidency that the meeting had been postponed. It is unfortunate that a meeting as important as that of the meeting of National Security Council at this trying moment is reduced to a partisan status.
“As at Tuesday night, 14 APC governors were in Abuja and on Wednesday morning, actually visited victims of the Nyanya bomb blast in Asokoro and National Hospitals, where we announced our intention to set up a trust to support victims of terror.
“As a matter of fact, after the visit we stated categorically “This is a time that we must all close hands to ensure the safety of lives and property. This is not a time to talk about politics with people’s lives”. It is therefore shocking and in bad faith that we are being accused of boycotting a meeting we were duly notified that it had been called off.
“We want to reiterate our call to President Goodluck Jonathan to “deepen that particular section of our constitution, which guarantees safety of lives and property of ordinary citizens. We urge him to show leadership at this moment and do whatever it is within his capacity and capabilities as President to fish out those who are involved in this act.” We stand by this position and hereby re-affirm our commitment to work with the Federal Government and all Nigerians to resolve our national security challenges”, the PGF statement stressed.
In a similar vein, the party has, however, accused the president and the PDP of politicising Nigeria’s security by engaging in outright deception to exclude APC governors from the Thursday meeting.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Friday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said after deliberately excluding the governors from the meeting, the Presidency and the PDP then engaged in outright disinformation and distortion of facts to make it look as if the APC governors deliberately boycotted the meeting, in an effort to make political gain from the whole issue.
“It is now clear that despite their inability to protect lives and property and to stop the terrorist attacks in the country, the Presidency and the PDP are not interested in any genuine efforts to end the worsening security situation. It is patently obvious that their aim is to make political capital out of the tragedy that has befallen Nigeria, rather than to ameliorate the cruel fate being daily suffered by the citizens,” it said.
APC said the same Presidency that invited all state governors to the expanded National Security Council meeting, which was announced via a statement issued on April 16th by the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, had no qualms in allegedly duping the APC governors out of the meeting and turning it to a parochial meeting of governors of the PDP and its satellite parties, only to shift the blame on the same governors who were conned!
The party said after the Presidency publicly invited all state governors to the meeting, it then clandestinely reached out to the APC governors to say the meeting had been called off; only to turn around and accuse them (APC governors) of shunning the meeting.
“The Kwara State government confirmed that its Chief Detail received a call from the Presidency to the effect that the meeting had been called off.
Then, the Deputy Governor of Borno State, who had already arrived in Abuja for the meeting, also learnt that it had been called off. Curiously, the meeting that was announced publicly by the Presidency was not even listed among the president’s official engagement for Thursday.
“Despite all these glaring evidences of a grand plot to exclude APC governors, the president’s Assistant on New Media, Reno Omokri – the same fellow who tried to malign the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria – took to Twitter to tell the world that the APC governors shunned the meeting and accused them of playing politics with national security.
“Unfortunately, while the fallacious Omokri was tweeting lies, the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Governor Godswill Akpabio, was telling journalists that the APC governors were not invited to the meeting, and that it was initiated by the PDP governors (not minding that the governors of states controlled by the All Progressive Grand Alliance and Labour Party were in attendance).
“Who then is lying between the Presidency and the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum? Why would The Presidency engage in such a grand design just to make the APC governors look bad? Is this a part of the plan to shift the blame for the state of insecurity on the APC and to make the party look bad ahead of the 2015 elections and the preceding ones? Is this in furtherance of President Jonathan’s improper blame of the governors of the worst-hit states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe for the insurgency in their states? Can any genuine efforts to resolve the crisis exclude the governors of the three states?
“The Presidency is playing a dangerous game by seeking to make political capital out of an insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives, and done incalculable damage to property and the economy. It is now clear that this Presidency has its eyes firmly fixed on benefitting from the insurgency, and that it has no interest in any genuine measures to end it.
“Were it not so, the Presidency and the PDP would not have attempted to deceive the whole nation into believing that the APC governors shunned a meeting to address the issue. Were it not so, President Jonathan would not have been dancing in Kano, where he went on an electioneering campaign, less than 24 hours after 75 of his compatriots were killed in a bomb blast in Abuja, and even as school girls were being abducted in Borno. Were it not so, the PDP would not have acted so insensitively by blaming the opposition, even as the nation was still grieving,” it said.
APC, however, reiterated its earlier statement that in the overriding interest of the nation, it was willing and ready to be part of all genuine efforts to end the terrorist attacks, and that only a non-partisan approach could end the security crisis.
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
To contact Abusidiqu.com for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org