Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa State, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has said that change of government at times of war is counter-productive, adding that Nigerians must vote for President Goodluck Jonathan to consolidate the gains recorded so far.
Ribadu, who spoke at the weekend in Mubi, Adamawa State, when he visited the reclaimed towns of Paka in Maiha Local Government Area, Mubi in Mubi North Local Government Area and Gella in Mubi South Local Government Area, to commiserate with the people affected by the insurgency, said that Nigeria would gain abundantly if Jonathan is returned so that he can maintain the tide being recorded against insurgency in the North East presently.
The former EFCC chairman, who hailed the Nigerian military, the police and other member countries that make up the multi-national joint task force for the successes recorded against Boko Haram, said that the federal government and the military deserve votes of confidence from Nigerians for what they have been able to do in reclaiming territories previously occupied by the insurgents.
He also said that Adamawa State Governor, Bala James Ngilari, has demonstrated strong leadership in the fight against insurgency by cooperating with the security agencies and pioneering strategic civilian involvement in tackling the activities of the terrorists.
The Nigerian military recently dislodged the Boko Haram from several communities in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states.
A statement from Ribadu’s media office quoted him as telling the people to retain their confidence in Jonathan and the military.
He was quoted as saying: “Political stability is key to peace and security, more so at a time of instability like what we are witnessing today. We cannot afford to disrupt this operation midstream. This tide should be allowed to continue.
“I have worked in many crisis zones, including Afghanistan, I know what insurgency is all about. It is unfortunate that at a time the country should unite for action against the insurgents we were busy apportioning blame. That is why I refrained from any comment about this all this while.”
According to him, terrorism is a global phenomenon which is difficult to purge, adding that “No country has succeeded in eliminating terrorism altogether and within a short time. The victory may not be total and immediate. It is a gradual process”.
“It is sad that politics is brought into this issue of insurgency. Those making such comments do not know that they are hurting us, we that are living in the epicenter of this insurgency. Our people have suffered for too long, those hauling words from their comfort zones should please shut up and give us chance to confront what directly affects us”, he further said.
The PDP gubernatorial candidate also thanked those he called the real heroes of the war against the insurgency, which includes “the military, police and our gallant members of the vigilante who sacrificed a lot and even lost their lives”.
“I am proud to associate myself with you”, he added.
On the strategy of routing the terrorists who had stayed in so communities for many months, Mr. Ribadu said, “The President never wanted to have large number of collateral damage. He is a careful leader who quietly took this very measured strategy without grandstanding. Today, we see the result of this matured way of handling this difficult war, which has pushed out the terrorists with minimal civilian casualty.
“The President took his time to build this strong coalition of bringing together our neighbouring countries. The result is for everyone to see. We have seen that the table is now turned against the terrorists, and they are on the run.
“Our security agencies are doing extremely great work and we should unite in applauding them. They have operated in the most difficult situations but they are winning even though the world refused to help us.
“Now, it is about consolidation of this success on how to restore life in these affected communities and bring about stability. The President has already established the Victims Support Fund and he has a marshal plan on how to consolidate on this military successes.
“President Goodluck Jonathan is a very compassionate and kind-hearted person but it is being misunderstood to mean something else. But to me, it is an attribute of a good leader. We have seen the President demonstrating compassion in a number of ways. Our lives have been turned upside down here. He has visited us, he has assured us of his commitment to restore back our lives. And I believe he will live up to those promises”.
Traditional, religious and business leaders from the three local governments, who received the flag bearer, expressed appreciation for the visit, as they showed optimism that with a leader of Mr. Ribadu’s calibre, the state can address myriad of its developmental and security challenges.