The Congress for Progressive Change yesterday (CPC) descended on President Goodluck Jonathan for not visiting Baga, Borno State, where 200 people were reportedly killed and thousands of houses burnt in heavy gun-fighting between a military Joint Task Force and Boko Haram insurgents two weeks ago.
In a statement by National publicity secretary of the party, Rotimi Fashakin, yesterday, the CPC stated that the incident which attracted the outrage of Nigerians and the International community should have necessitated a visit by the president.
He accused the government of showing more interest in controlling the information on the casualty figures instead of ensuring rehabilitation of the victims of the Baga disaster.
“It is our belief that the refusal of the President in visiting Baga does not only show insensitivity but is a conduct that is not statesman-like for those that bear presidential authority over a jurisdiction”, he said.
“The aloofness evinced by the President to the plight of the Baga people, is in our opinion, an infraction of this relevant provision of the Nigerian Constitution. We consider this conduct as very unacceptable.”
Meanwhile, the President’s spokesman – Dr. Reuben Abati in apparent reaction to the CPC’s criticism, accused the opposition of always playing to the gallery even when the occasion calls for maturity and sobriety.
“The problem with them is that they consider everything ‘very unacceptable’”, he said yesterday.
“President Jonathan has been very pro-active in dealing with the Baga incident. He ordered an immediate probe by the Military High Command and the intervention of rescue and aid agencies, who have been working with the Borno state government and other agencies of state to ensure that the victims are rehabilitated and assisted with relief materials. These steps surely do not give an impression of insensitivity or aloofness,” he stressed.