The All Progressives Congress has accused the presidency of being economical with the truth in its response to the widespread condemnation of President Goodluck Jonathan for hobnobbing with an alleged sponsor of the Boko Haram sect, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
In a statement issued in Dubai on Friday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the opposition party said the presidency’s stout defence of the former Borno State governor’s presence at President Jonathan’s meeting with host President Idris Deby of Chad, and the fact that the presidency’s statement was coordinated with the one by Sheriff’s spokesman, has shown that the APC is right to have called for the trial of Sheriff and other alleged Boko Haram sponsors by the International Criminal Court, instead of the Nigerian security agencies which are under the Jonathan spell.
The APC spokesman said President Jonathan lacked the liver to investigate and prosecute the accused, who are his friends, adding: “How can you prosecute a person who accompanies you on a high level security meeting to a foreign head of state?”
“The presidency said the security agencies are investigating Sheriff and that the President will not interfere, but what message was the President sending to the security agencies by circulating the picture of the accused with himself? Is that a subtle message to the security agencies that the accused is a friend of the President hence he is untouchable?
“The presidency said Sheriff has a long standing business in Chad. Is the presidency not aware of the memo sent home by the Nigerian Defence Adviser in Chad concerning Sheriff? Why didn’t the presidency tell Nigerians whether or not the investigation recommended by the Defence Adviser over Sheriff’s alleged sponsorship of Boko Haram was ever carried out, and if so what was the outcome? APC queried.
APC insisted that President Jonathan exhibited palpable indiscretion by allowing himself to be photographed with an accused terrorism sponsor while on a foreign trip to rally support for his country’s anti-terrorism efforts.