Presidency yesterday took up the All Progressives Congress, APC on security matters and accused it of sponsoring the Boko Haram sect.
The Federal Government particularly carpeted the opposition party’s Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, for alleging that it spent $32 billion in battling the Boko Haram sect without achieving tangible results.
At a press briefing yesterday, Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the President, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said the APC’s press statement where it blamed the President for deliberately allowing insurgency to fester for years was designed to misinform Nigerians and play down on the successes recorded by the Federal Government in curbing the Boko Haram menace.
Okupe accused the APC of hypocrisy and siding with the terrorists, saying the party was not happy that the government was winning the war against terror.
He noted that there was no where President Jonathan said he underrated the capacity of the sect, accusing the APC of mischievously twisting the words of the President in an interview with ThisDay newspaper.
“The text of the APC statement contained as usual some falsehoods, including quoting President Goodluck Jonathan as saying that the Federal Government “underrated the capacity of Boko Haram” and waited for this long to root out the insurgents as a political trump card. We find these assertions by the APC as most unfortunate and certainly unpatriotic.”
“In the first instance, what President Goodluck Jonathan said in the interview, which has been mischievously twisted by the APC, was that at the outset of the Boko Haram activities, the group was treated as a local insurgent group in view of the fact that there was scanty information on its global network in training, funding and supply of arms.”
“We wish to state that there was never a time that this administration shirked its responsibilities in the fight against terror in spite of the obvious challenges resulting from decades of failure to procure essential equipment to modernise and enhance the fighting power of our Military.”
“The various successes recorded by the Nigerian Military in their various international engagements were as a result of the fact that our soldiers were essentially equipped for specific engagements and the equipment are tailor-made for the foreign operations.”
“The APC ought to know that procuring military hardware is totally different from buying real estate or a piece of automobile. In most cases, the equipment have to be pre-ordered, designed and produced to specifications which takes a considerable time,” Okupe said.
He therefore traced the recent successes of the military against the sect to the following factors: Deployment of specially trained anti-terrorism combat squad who were recently trained by our international partners; The acquisition and deployment of more sophisticated, adequate and appropriate Military hardware; The recent approval by the African Union and the United Nations for a broad based international coalition to collaborate with our Military.
“This approval also gives legal authority to our neighbours (Chad, Niger and Cameroun) to lawfully deploy troops on Nigerian soil while our military can now operate beyond our borders to hunt fleeing terrorists, thus removing their safe haven.”
Okupe recalled that APC had a history of supporting insurgents and undermining government’s efforts to tackle terrorism.“Regrettably however, the All Progressives Congress which has the unfortunate antecedent of siding with the terrorists and criticizing measures adopted by Government to tackle insurgency, as well as demeaning the Nigerian Military, does not seem to be happy with these recent successes.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that on June 2, 2013, the APC presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, who was then leader of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, criticised the declaration of state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states and the subsequent military offensive against the Boko Haram sect.
Buhari, who featured on the “Guest of the Week,” a Hausa programme of the Kaduna-based Liberty Radio, said the Federal Government’s action was a gross injustice against the North.
According to him, unlike the special treatment the Federal Government gave to the Niger Delta militants, the Boko Haram members were being killed and their houses demolished.
Buhari reiterated this position on June 10, 2013 by speaking glowingly about the Boko Haram sect in a manner that suggests some hidden sympathy for the murderous sect. He also went as far as describing the proscription of the Boko Haram and Ansaru terrorist groups by the Federal Government as a violation of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
Okupe continued: “We had expected that the APC would drop this toga by unequivocally supporting government and our troops to defeat terror; especially now that it is hoping that Nigerians would entrust it with the leadership of our dear Nation, but unfortunately this appears not to be so.
“Rather, the opposition party continues to engage in bare-faced lies, double-speak and twisting of facts to stand logic on its head in these very crucial times.
“An example of this disposition to falsehood and outlandish assertions by the APC is the claim by Lai Mohammed in his press statement that government had expended a sum of $32 billion (N6.5 trillion) on the war against terrorism; a claim which is untrue and lacks any factual basis whatsoever, “he said.
Source: Nigerian Pilot


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