SHOWDOWN: JONATHAN TO SUMMON AZAZI OVER PDP BOKO HARAM LINK
President Goodluck Jonathan indicated on Saturday his willingness to summon the National Security Adviser, Gen. Owoye Azazi (retd), for linking the Peoples Democratic Party with the spate of bombings in the country.
Also, the PDP in a statement cautioned the NSA to steer clear of political matters, so as to avoid making enemies for Jonathan.
It scoffed at his claim that the party was to blame for the bombings in the North because of its non-adherence to democratic practices and values.
Jonathan spoke on the issue while fielding questions from journalists during a visit to THISDAY to commiserate with its management in Abuja, on Thursday’s bomb attack against the newspaper
He said he would not seriously comment on the issue until he had read the script Azazi delivered at the South-South summit on Friday, and “listen to him.”
The summit was held in Asaba, Delta State.
Jonathan also said Nigerians should demand from Azazi what he meant by the statement.
The President said, “Probably, people need to ask the NSA to explain what he really means. I have read it in the papers.”
On the calls by some stakeholders for the government to dialogue with the Boko Haram, the president said his government was ready to exploit every possible means to end the violence.
However, he said that both those who advocated dialogue and those opposed to it were right.
He said, “Those who are saying we should dialogue (with Boko Haram) are correct; and those who are saying we should not dialogue are also correct.
“When we have a terror situation, you also look at global best practice. Just like war situations, you may dialogue; you may not dialogue, depending on the circumstances.
“But we will exploit every means possible to bring this (violence) to an end.”
Azazi had on Friday in Delta State during the South-South summit said, “How come the extent of violence did not increase in Nigeria until the public declaration of the people that were going to contest election in the PDP?
“And I would also like to say this, although the PDP people will not agree with me, they would like to attack me, but I hope they do it in private.”
However, the PDP said, “It is important for us to advise appointees of government to navigate only on the terrain where their authority will not be humbled by superior knowledge, so as to avoid attracting undeserving and unnecessary ill feelings for their principal.”
The party stressed that equity; fairness and inclusiveness were its cardinal principles since formation.
The statement read, “We wish to state without any ambiguity that our great party remains the only political party in Nigeria that is not owned by any ethnic group, person or group of persons.
“All Nigerians are equal stakeholders. All our special national conventions for the election of our presidential flag bearers since 1998 have seen candidates emerge on the strength of national unity, a common motif, which envisages that every section of the country, majority or minority can aspire to the highest political office in our father land via a well-entrenched rotation and zoning principle in the constitution of our party.”
Further, it stated, “that President Jonathan emerged with overwhelming votes of delegates from every state in the country, a feat that was again repeated in April 2011 general elections, which of course, have been adjudged the best in our recent history.
“It is, therefore, a comment in grave error, a fatal diagnosis of facts for anyone to insinuate or directly assert that a section of the membership of the PDP, or its foundation predisposes that only a certain section and not others will aspire to the highest office in the country.
“The PDP as a party will not cease supporting and assisting the national security Adviser in as much as he remains focused in this job of securing the lives and property of Nigerians.”