The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it is stupefied by the comments credited to PDP National Women Leader Kema Chikwe in which she expressed doubts about the abduction of over 200 school girls from Chibok in Borno State, saying by the comments, Mrs Chikwe has simply crossed the line and plumbed the depths of absurdity and insensitivity.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party expressed concern that such an incautious and insensitive statement could be made by a woman, a mother, a grandmother and a top official of the ruling PDP over an issue that is undoubtedly the worst tragedy and biggest embarrassment to Nigeria.
It said the comments raise even more concern because of the position in the ruling party of Mrs. Chikwe, wondering if her irresponsible statement represented the closet opinion of the ruling party or the unstated stand of the presidency – in which case it will explain the FG’s dawdling approach to the rescue of the girls.
”It has been said that politics should not be brought into issues of national security. But how can anyone keep quiet in the face of this glaring assault on the sensitivity of a whole nation by a supposed leader of the ruling party? Who indeed is attempting to politicise a national tragedy, undoubtedly the worst in the history of our nation, if not the PDP?
”Does this explain why the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces has not deemed it fit to make a national broadcast to assure a dumbstruck nation that he is indeed in charge, to give hope to the shell-shocked parents of the girls and to inspire the military, three weeks after this unprecedented national tragedy? Is this why the President and Commander-in-Chief has yet to visit Chibok?
”If security concerns are responsible for the President’s failure to visit Chibok, how is it possible for Governor Kashim Shema of Borno to have visited the school, even in defiance of intelligent reports? If the military cannot make Chibok safe for its Commander-in-Chief to visit, who in that town is safe? We submit that no part of this country should be out of bounds to the President and Commander-in-Chief. No where in which our military men and women are deployed should be out of bounds to our President and Commander-in-Chief,” APC said.
The party said it is outrageous and unconscionable that anyone, least of all a woman, mother, grandmother and a top ranking ruling party official would attempt to trivialize the pains of losing one’s daughters to unstable, primitive and blood-thirsty hoodlums, even when photographic and other evidences abound of the efforts being made by the parents to personally rescue their children.
It wondered whether the hapless parents who have, despite the risks to their own lives, taken to the Sambisa Forest in search of their children could have gone there on a picnic, if anyone would still be raising doubts that their children were indeed abducted.
”A fringe group first mooted this idea of the abduction not being real and was ignored. But now that it has been raised to the level of a party’s stand, it is time for all Nigerians to speak out and condemn this absurdity. Is Chikwe saying that the military that has been working round the clock to rescue the girls is only play acting? Is she also saying that the President who called an expanded National Security Council meeting on the issue is only horsing around? Enough of this absurdity.
”We urged our patriotic soldiers and indeed all concerned to ensure that these innocent girls are returned home safely to their parents. We commend all the groups that have staged public protests to force the authorities to act faster on this issue for their efforts. We say all hands must be on deck to end this national nightmare as soon as possible,” APC said.