The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of aiding, abetting and benefitting from the Boko Haram insurgency, saying the mismanagement of national resources, massive corruption under the ruling party’s watch and the incompetent handling of what started as a localised insurgency, have been responsible for the festering crisis.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by APC National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also accused the PDP-led federal government of using the fight against insurgency as an excuse to punish and witch-hunt the opposition, trample on civil liberties and abuse national institutions on a scale that is unprecedented in the country’s history.
It said had the PDP-led federal government not misgoverned Nigeria since the return to democratic rule in 1999, perhaps the country could have been spared the cankerworm of terrorism, epitomised more than anything else by the Boko Haram insurgency.
APC said the international community is not unaware that the FG has been the biggest cog in the wheel of efforts to tackle Boko Haram, apparently because the Jonathan administration has seen the insurgency as its surest ticket to re-election and international acceptance.
“Far from the baseless and irresponsible accusations and finger-pointing by the PDP and the government it controls at the centre, it is time to tell Nigerians that the only reason the insurgency has continued unabated is because the PDP and the Jonathan administration are benefitting massively from it.
“That explains their quick dismissal of our call for an international inquiry to unravel the sponsors and modus operandi of the terror group, while latching on to what remains a mere conjecture on the probe of Boko Haram links by the British Parliament. Pray, which is bigger and more authentic, a probe by the British Parliament or an international inquiry? If the PDP and its cohorts have nothing to hide, they would have embraced that call. We maintain that only an international inquiry can unravel those behind Boko Haram, and we thank Nigerians for their favourable response to our call”, APC said.
The party drew the attention of Nigerians to the testimony given by a US official at the US House Foreign Affairs Sub-committee on Africa’s hearing last Thursday in Washington, identifying the human rights abuse record and uncooperative attitude of the Nigerian government and its military authorities as factors hindering the security assistance offered to Nigeria by the US to tackle Boko Haram.
“The Congress was told, by the Specialist at African Affairs Congressional Research Service Lauren Blanchard, that the Nigerian government and its military had not been yielding to America’s suggestions; that the main impediment to America’s efforts to support Nigeria’s broader response to Boko Haram is ‘gross violations committed by the Nigerian forces, the Nigerian government’s resistance to adopting a more comprehensive approach to Boko Haram and the continued lack of political will’.
“The Congress also heard that the he Nigerian government has appeared reticent in some cases to allow its security forces to participate in US training programmes, adding: ‘Multiple systemic factors further constrain the effectiveness of the Nigerian security force’s response to Boko Haram, notably security sector corruption and mismanagement, and some of these factors impede US support even for units that have been cleared for assistance’.
“Does anyone need any more evidence of whose cluelessness and incompetence have allowed Boko Haram to fester to such a level that it has killed over 3,000 people since the beginning of this year alone? Does anyone need further evidence of whose non-cooperative attitude with the US and other foreign friends of Nigeria has been responsible for the failed and tepid efforts to tackle Boko Haram?” it queried.
APC said it is an undisputed fact that Boko Haram emerged against the backdrop of intense poverty and political misrule by the PDP since 1999.