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APC defends "Janjaweed" manifesto

10 March 2014, 07:33Augustine Osayande

Abuja - The opposition party said the comment of the ruling party was a furtherance of on-going campaign to pigeon-hole the APC as an Islamic party, rather than engage in an informed critique of the roadmap.

The manifesto was described as “Janjaweed Ideology.”

“On a more dangerous level, it shows that the PDP will not relent from engaging in Islamophobia by using the Boko Haram crisis in a part of the country to stereotype Muslims and paint them as terrorists, even when it is obvious that majority of Muslims do not support the heinous crimes being perpetrated by the sect,” APC's Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in a statement.

He said the party wondered why the PDP, in reacting to the APC's Road Map, would be making an allusion to the despicable Janjaweed militia which is wreaking havoc in Sudan's Western Darfur region, saying this is nothing short of religious escapism and a dangerous attempt to whip up religious sentiments against people of a certain faith.

“The only reason that the PDP used the word 'Janjaweed' is because the militia that goes by that name comprises mostly, if not exclusively, of people of Arab/Muslim stock in Sudan. This has further confirmed our fears that there is a clear attempt by the PDP, led by President Goodluck Jonathan, to divide Nigerians along religious lines as never before in the history of our country and to use religious as a political tool - a very dangerous move that can only result in religious warfare, from which no country that engages in it has ever survived intact. Or how else can one explain the continuous attempt by the PDP, despite warnings from right thinking people and groups, to cast people of a certain faith, who constitute half of our country's population, as either terrorists or terror sympathizers/sponsors, or to label the APC as an Islamic party just to hang it? Couldn't the PDP have criticized our Road Map without resorting to its well-worn, dangerous game of religious blackmail,” Mohammed queried.

He said the party challenged the PDP to unveil its own roadmap for Nigerians to see and compare, rather than attempt to attack the opposition's message.

“'We will not allow our roadmap to be buried on the altar of diversionary rhetoric by the do-nothing PDP. Therefore, in the days and weeks ahead, we will be highlighting the key areas of the document for all Nigerians to see.”

He said the PDP roadmap centred on job creation, zero tolerance for government or private sector corruption, free, relevant and quality education, reviving agriculture as an engine for economic growth and new jobs and increase the supply of quality housing through a policy of social housing for the poor and affordable housing for the working class.

“We will improve healthcare, provide social welfare, build and improve our roads, power and basic infrastructure to create new jobs and unleash business growth and strengthen peace and security by stopping the kind of horrendous acts of terrorism, especially in the Northeast, which have robbed us of Nigerian lives of every age and withered confidence in our nation’s security,” added Mohammed.

– CAJ News

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