The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday distanced itself from instigating the killings of pro-Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) protesters in Onitsha in August.
It would be recalled that nine people were reportedly killed on Aug. 22 when MASOB protesters clashed with security agents during a protest seeking the actualisation of an independent state for the Igbos.
Chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, told newsmen in Abuja that the party had nothing to do with the clash, and it had no reason whatsoever, to kill innocent people.
Odigie-Oyegun said that MASSOB was not an opposition party hence APC had no issues to clash or incite the public against the movement.
“Please perish that thought; what is the involvement of APC? Is MASSOB PDP? Why would the APC feel any desire to be involved in any way whatsoever?
“It was a clean clear security situation and no government worth its salt will watch any group whatsoever make life impossible for the rest of the society.
“The killings were most, most, most, regrettable”, he stressed, adding “but even now, we don’t know who killed who.
“I think we should just pray that that situation will eventually resolve itself through the carrot and stick approach. The carrot is absolutely necessary and I pray that that may end up solving the problem”, he said.
The Chairman said that APC was managing its successes and challenges well and would soon come out as a consolidated party.
“Managing success, yes there has been stress originating from the nature of the party itself but they are all part of the settling down of the party itself and we are resolving them eventually.
“The power structure and tussle in the party is normal and desirable and the earlier we sort out these issues and challenges within the party, the better it gets for the administration.
“So, I will say it is good that within the first few months of our administration, issues to be addressed were brought forward at the early stage of our government.
“In another few months, I believe all these issues will be put behind us and we will have a truly consolidated APC”, he said
On allegation that media enquiries were no longer being promptly attended to by the party, Odigie-Oyegun said, “it was a great loss losing Lai Mohammed to the Executive but he’s still within the system.
“He was truly very special and unique. But, as we speak, the National Secretary of the party has largely on temporary basis taken up the job of communication to the press, and myself as the chairman, is always available for any enquiry”.
On plans to pay stipends to unemployed youths from next year, he said that the party was fine-tuning the issue to make it a good and scam-free package.
“All I will say is that we should not jump the gun. There will obviously be a legal backing to the move.
“The difficulty involved has been worked on and what is important is that the scheme will start irrespective of whatever imperfection that may come with it.
“We’ll keep building on it as the months go on. It is not going to be a mere scheme where we pay people money and they go home and sleep.
“It is going to be tied to your employability to look for job and training so as to make it possible for you to be qualified for better employment opportunities.
“It is going to be a comprehensive package that will make sure that people are going out of the scheme and some new ones are coming in”, the chairman said. (NAN)