Lagos - The mudslinging between the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) the former accused the ruling party of complicity in the terror the Boko Haram sector is perpetrating.
APC alleged the PDP was aiding, abetting and benefitting from the Boko Haram insurgency, saying the mismanagement of national resources, massive corruption under the PDP watch and the incompetent handling of what started as a “localized” insurgency had been responsible for the festering of the crisis.
In a statement issued in Lagos today by the National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also accused the federal government of using the fight against the insurgency as an excuse to punish and witch-hunt the opposition, trample on civil liberties and abuse national institutions on a scale that is unprecedented in the country's history.
It said had the PDP-led Federal Government not misgoverned Nigeria since 1999, perhaps the country could have been spared the “canker worm” of terrorism, epitomized more than anything else by the Boko Haram insurgency.
APC said the international community was not unaware that the FG has been the “biggest cog” in the wheel of efforts to tackle Boko Haram, apparently because the Goodluck Jonathan administration had seen the insurgency as its “surest ticket” to re-election and international acceptance.
“'Far from the baseless and irresponsible accusations and finger-pointing by the PDP and the government it controls at the centre, it is time to tell Nigerians that the only reason the insurgency has continued unabated is because the PDP and the Jonathan Administration are benefitting massively from it,” APC alleged.
“'That explains their quick dismissal of our call for an international inquiry to unravel the sponsors and modus operandi of the terror group, while latching on to what remains a mere conjecture on the probe of Boko Haram links by the British Parliament. Pray, which is bigger and more authentic, a probe by the British Parliament or an international inquiry? If the PDP and its cohorts have nothing to hide, they would have embraced that call. We maintain that only an international inquiry can unravel those behind Boko Haram, and we thank Nigerians for their favourable response to our call.”
The party called the attention of Nigerians to the testimony given by a United States official, at the US House Foreign Affairs Sub-committee on Africa's hearing last Thursday in Washington, identifying the human rights abuse record and the alleged uncooperative attitude of the Nigerian government and its military authorities as factors hindering the security assistance offered to Nigeria by the US to tackle Boko Haram.
APC said it is an undisputed fact that Boko Haram emerged against the backdrop of intense poverty and political misrule by the PDP since 1999."Since the return to democratic rule in 1999, the PDP has ruled Nigeria till date, and has been responsible for mismanaging over 60 percent of national revenue. Still, very little has changed in terms of progressive improvement in the socio-economic conditions of most Nigerians. It is hardly a coincidence that Boko Haram emerged in the North-east region of Nigeria, given that it is the poorest region with higher than national average rates of poverty, illiteracy, mortality rates, youth unemployment and social immobility,” APC stated.
The opposition party reiterated its position on the Boko Haram crisis saying it had no links whatsoever, as alleged by PDP, to the terror group and challenged anyone with contrary information and proof to present such to Nigerians without delay.
It also restated its earlier recommendations for resolving the crisis, saying any solution that will be effective must be multi-faceted, since “scorched-earth military tactics” alone have failed to quell the insurgency.
“The Nigerian government, if indeed it is interested in ending the Boko Haram insurgency, must integrate military action with a clear political strategy as well as socio-economic initiatives. In the short-term, law enforcement and security action must bring violent situations under control.
" Then a clear political strategy must be integrated with law enforcement and security operations with an unambiguous intent of political dialogue and negotiation as the basis for sustainable peace and security. Finally, socio-economic initiatives that align with security and political components must be integrated into the efforts.”
– CAJ News