Our attention has been drawn to the statement by the Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, in which he spoke disparagingly about former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
President Jonathan’s SSA on Public Affairs maligned Atiku’s intentions for addressing a world press conference on Monday, 2nd November, during which he expressed concerns over the dire security situation in the northeast states of Nigeria and called on the international community’s support.
At this critical stage in Nigeria’s history, trading insults is a waste of time rather we should deploy efforts on how to recover our lost territories. Unless, of course, the people of the Northeast of Nigeria do not matter to the current government.
For the avoidance of doubt, Nigeria has so far lost a total of 16 local government areas to Boko Haram: 9 in Bornu, 2 in Yobe and 5 in Adamawa states. The total landmass occupied is the equivalent of three states of the federation.
As Atiku pointed out during the world press conference, President Goodluck Jonathan cannot possibly want to go down in history as the only Nigerian Commander-in-Chief to have ever lost territory to terrorists. He still has a chance to redeem his legacy. The territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is at stake and must be restored.
At a time like this, when Nigeria is not engaged in any international war, thousands of our people are internally displaced while thousands more are refugees in neighbouring countries. Even many top Federal government officials can no longer return to their homes.
Madagali, hometown of Governors Ngilari and Fintiri of Adamawa has fallen to terrorists. Gulak, the hometown of President Jonathan’s onetime political adviser has also been taken. As well as Michika, which is home to the largest number of military generals in Adamawa after Numan. Two former Governors of Adamawa also come from this area – Boni Haruna and Saleh Michika. And particularly of interest is Mubi, which is the hometown of Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh. His palatial mansion in Vimtim village was crushed and reduced to rubble.
Being concerned about these issues should be the focus of the Nigerian government, rather than disparaging concerned citizens.
Once again, we reiterate Atiku Abubakar’s call to the international community for support for the people of Northeast Nigeria. Clearly, we cannot depend on the support of a government which is occupied with personal attacks while a section of the country is burning
We also believe that the action of the Presidency in instigating the withdrawal of the security attached to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal is a manifestation of gangster politics. Such action from the PDP-led federal government at this point of national emergency amounts to a set-back to the country’s democratization process.
It is not in doubt that our democracy has grown past the age of arbitrary politics when a sitting president sees the whole country as his fiefdom.
There is subsisting judicial pronouncement on the matter of defection, but if the Presidency and the security agencies, were in doubt, should have sought judicial interpretation from the court.
According to the laws of our land, the Speaker of the House of Representatives has committed no infraction for which, he should be denied security protection as the number four citizen of the country.
Except for the fact that the president sees himself as a gang leader of the PDP, and he feels that the Speaker must be punished for turning his back on him, nothing else within the framework of the law justifies the withdrawal of the security details of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
To this extent, the president must account to the nation what authorises his action to deprive the Speaker of his security details, to which he is statutorily entitled. Ours is a country governed by civil law and no individual or political party must revert our norms and behaviours to gangster rules.
4th November, 2014