The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reiterated its call to President Goodluck Jonathan to take time off his premature electioneering campaign to visit Yobe State to condole with the bereaved families of the innocent pupils that were killed in cold blood by Boko Haram gunmen last month.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the opposition party said it is totally inconceivable that a fortnight after the heart-wrenching killings of more than 29 schoolchildren, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has not deemed it fit to visit the state.
APC said far from being a mere formality, such a visit will provide great succour to the families of the victims, reassure them and other residents of the state that their government has not abandoned them to their fate, and also serve as a morale booster for our gallant troops, who are in the battle-front against the terrorists, against all odds.
“There is no other democracy in the world in which that number of schoolchildren will be killed and the head of government will carry on with business as usual. Since the killings, President Jonathan has made a national broadcast in which he mentioned the killings only as a footnote, instead of making it the central point of the broadcast.
“Since the killings, the President has presided over a wasteful national celebration, in which the drums were rolled out to mark the country’s centenary even as devastated families were still mourning and those injured were reeling from their pains.
“Since the killings, President Jonathan has been gallivanting across the country, surreptitiously kick-starting his electioneering campaign for 2015 under the guise of receiving some inconsequential political jobbers now wearing the tag of defectors.
“This junketing has taken the President everywhere, including Sokoto, Minna, Ilorin and Onitsha. But he has pointedly avoided Yobe. To put it mildly, the father of the nation has been practically dancing on the graves of those innocent souls. This is not the stuff of leadership and the President must make amends by visiting Yobe today”, APC said.
The party advised President Jonathan to borrow a leaf from leaders in other lands, especially the US after which Nigeria has modelled its democracy.
“In January 2014, US President Barack Obama flew to Tennessee, where he spoke at a high school where students were still reeling from the shooting death of just one of their classmates; In 2012, President Obama paid a similar visit to Newtown in Connecticut, where he met relatives of the 20 schoolchildren and 8 adults who were shot. These are examples worthy of emulation by President Jonathan”, it said.
The APC challenged Jonathan to explain to Nigerians why he has not or why he would not visit the scene of the gruesome murders.
“Whatever his reasons are, the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces must not give the impression that there is any part of the country he cannot visit for any reason whatsoever, otherwise he would only have succeeded in handing some sort of victory to the terrorists who have continued to kill and plunder in the North-east”, it said.