SAN FRANCISCO, May 18, (THEWILL) – The All Progressives Congress (APC) has slammed President Goodluck Jonathan over his “aborted” trip to Chibok , describing it as symptomatic of his administration’s policy flip-flop in the fight against Boko Haram.
The Nigerian Presidency had earlier said that the President did not have a trip to Chibok on his schedule on Friday as reported by in some newspapers and news websites.
However, maintaining that the aborted trip did not come as a surprise to close watchers of the Jonathan Administration, APC said in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that just as the Jonathan Administration has bungled the fight against Boko Haram, it has exhibited sheer cluelessness in handling the abduction of the school girls.
”With his utterances and actions or inaction, President Jonathan has deepened the pains of the parents and guardians of the girls, and indeed that of the whole nation, when he should have been the consoler-in-chief at such a difficult time for a nation he leads,” the party said.
APC said to worsen matters, the Jonathan Administration has resorted to lying to Nigerians, saying the President never planned to visit Chibok in the first instance, even when it has been widely reported in the local and international media that the President’s advance team had landed in Borno State before the presidential volte face.
”Pray, do presidential advance teams deploy themselves at will?” it queried
The party said the President himself made his lying aides to look squeaky clean when he told the world’s media that he did not go to Chibok because the girls are not being held there and also because the trip will not lead to their release.
”This statement shows that President Jonathan does not understand the demands of his office, and that in good/bad times, he is to be seen and heard as the lead celebrant/lead consoler for his compatriots. His statement is the most pedestrian justification of a presidential faux pas ever.
”As usual, a trip – belated as it were – that could have gone a long way in redeeming the battered global image of the Jonathan Administration in the handling of the abduction issue has turned out to be another albatross for the President. Again, a President who is demonstrably averse to success has snatched defeat just when he was on the cusp of victory!” it said.
APC said a President who was so in denial that critical time had lapsed before world attention forced him to act on the abducted girls has again dropped the ball at another critical moment – just the same way he waffled and wavered on the overall Boko Haram crisis before the terror group gained enough strength to become a runaway monster that could now strike at a time and place of its own choosing, killing 12,000 people and injuring 8,000 others.
”A President and Commander-in-Chief who is afraid to visit any part of his country has betrayed the very people who voted him into office. In the case of Chibok, he has shown that the residents of the town should not expect to be seen as compatriots by their own President, hence they are on their own.
”This definitely explains why, increasingly, Nigerians are resorting to self help, why ordinary citizens are taking up cudgels, machetes and dane guns to battle Boko Haram. It is nothing but the clearest indication of state failure and presidential ineffectiveness,” the party said.
It said even in the seemingly hopeless situation in which the Administration has found itself, it can still begin to make amends by immediately packaging a presidential visit to Chibok that would only be announced after the President must have gone and come back, instead of one in which the President’s men leaked the trip to the world in the hope of gaining mileage, only to reap opprobrium when the trip was cancelled…..and then blame everyone but themselves!,” the statement said.
SAINT MUGAGA, ABUJA