The All Progressives Congress (APC) has flayed the killing of the Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Idrissa Timta, by suspected Boko Haram gunmen on Friday, saying the act confirms the terror group as the enemy of the whole of Nigeria, rather than a group set up by some imaginary opposition political party or elites to destabilize the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the atrocious killing of the Emir is the clearest indication yet that the present administration has misdiagnosed the Boko Haram menace right from the beginning.
The opposition party recalled that when the indiscriminate activities of Boko Haram are placed side by side with others facts: that the group came into existence in 2002 when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was President and grew wings in 2009 when late Musa Yar’Adua was President, one would realize how deceitful and diversionary it is for anyone to portray the sect as an attempt to make Nigeria too hot for Jonathan to govern.
The statement said: “Boko Haram is not a northern response to a southern presidency, as some would have us believe. Boko Haram is an enemy of Nigeria; whether Christians or Muslims, southerners or northerners, the lowly or the elite, the young or the old, the poor and the rich. They must be seen for what they are: fringe elements who happen to have linked up with other terror groups around the world to acquire training and weapons which they are now using to terrorize a whole nation.
“That Emirs, who are Muslims and symbols of power in the north, can be so dastardly attacked, with deadly consequences, should convince those who would rather engage in blame game than fight the bandits that what the country faces is neither a strictly religious nor elite war, and make them to change their jaundiced mindset.
“If indeed Boko Haram was sponsored by the so-called northern elites against Jonathan, how come they are not even sparing the same elites? If indeed Boko Haram is sponsored by the north against Jonathan, why are their deadly attacks concentrated in the north, where they have killed thousands and destroyed facilities and infrastructure worth billions?
“Let us all see Boko Haram for what it is, and come together as a people to fight the insurgents, rather than engage in denial, blame game and finger pointing that can only weaken our resolve as a nation to tackle this fringe group squarely”, APC said.
Mohammed said the insurgency has festered because the government started off by not seeing it for what it is, thus losing valuable time to combat it, adding that when it started dawning on the government of the day that the nation was staring a monster in the face, it fumbled by seeking to make political capital out of the problem.
“Those who saw Boko Haram, erroneously, as a political trump card have now suffered a boomerang, and today the Jonathan Administration is seen globally as incompetent, clueless and rudderless largely because of its inept handling of the Boko Haram insurgency, especially the unfortunate abduction of innocent school girls which has lingered. This is what you get when you play politics with a serious national problem”, it said.
The opposition party reiterated its call for a summit on national security as against a gathering of all political parties to help adopt a common ground against Boko Haram.
“We also reiterate our offer to join hands with the government in a non-partisan effort to battle the menace of Boko Haram, even though the government has yet to reach out to us since we made that offer”, the party said.