by James Sambo
The All Progressives Congress (APC), while congratulating President Goodluck Jonathan on his long overdue visit to Maiduguri, has also told him that he has many more similar trips to make.
The party issued a statement through its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in Makurdi on Friday, January 16, saying that the President should also visit the parents of the 219 missing Chibok girls as well as the families of the boys who were killed at the Federal Government College in Buni Yadi, and other areas terrorised by Boko Haram.
The opposition party implored the president to make certain to visit other Boko Haram ravaged areas, to prove that his Thursday visit of Maiduguri was not politically motivated.
“We have always said the President and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces should never be afraid to visit anywhere in the country. We have always said the President should not just be the Commander-in-Chief but also the Consoler-in-Chief. We are glad that the President has finally agreed with us.”
“But it is necessary to remind the President that he must not play politics with human lives, and that he must stop putting Jonathan first, Jonathan second and Jonathan third, at the expense of the nation.”
The party said now that the President has woken up from his slumber, he should also address the issue of the low morale of the troops and their lack of the necessary fighting equipment, if they are to effectively battle the terrorists who have killed and maimed thousands of innocent citizens.
“It is instructive that a few hours after President Jonathan visited Maiduguri, the global news channel CNN aired an interview with some Nigerian soldiers who complained of very low morale among the rank and file, lack of fighting equipment and very poor welfare. Another blamed the terrible situation being faced by the troops on massive corruption.”
“This does no credit to an Administration that has allocated billions of naira to the defence and security sector, billions that apparently did not percolate to those at the front line of the battle. It calls to question the usage to which the government has put the huge funds allocated to the sector, including the 1-billion-dollar loan that was recently approved by the National Assembly.”