By Segun Oniyide
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described as insensitive and utterly hardhearted President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to embark on a party rally in Kano barely 24 hours after 75 of his compatriots died in a bomb blast in Abuja, and as news broke of 100 schoolgirls who had been abducted by Boko Haram in Borno.
But in a swift reaction, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defended the president’s visit to Kano, stating that the objective of the terrorists is to create divisions in the country.
In a statement issued Wednersday by APC’s interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also renewed its call on the president to urgently convene a stakeholders’ summit and pursue a non-partisan approach towards ending the insurgency, as it is now very obvious that the challenge posed by the insurgency is beyond the capacity of the government.
It said the president’s quick return to the hustings was reprehensible and had shown that his visit to the scene of the blast was merely to avoid the kind of flak he had received for refusing to visit Yobe, where 43 school children were massacred recently, rather than a genuine show of sympathy by a truly compassionate leader.
“The message that President Jonathan is sending to Nigerians is that keeping his plum job, at all cost, is more important to him than the security and welfare of the same people who voted him into office. Otherwise, the president would not have rushed back to his illegal campaign trail at a time he should be leading the nation in mourning the dead.
A president who said his ambition is not worth the blood of anyone is now dancing gleefully on the graves of over 70 of his compatriots. What is so important about the illegal campaign stop in Kano on Tuesday that could not have waited for the smoke to clear from the scene of the deadly blast on Monday?
Who will President Jonathan rule over when his countrymen and women are being daily mowed down under his watch?
“Without mincing words, President Jonathan erred badly by not showing enough sympathy for the victims of Monday’s blast. More people died in the blast than from Kenya’s mall shooting last September, yet President Uhuru Kenyatta declared three days of national mourning, during which flags at public buildings flew at half mast and the people of Kenya prayed for the dead and the injured.
In 2012, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari ordered the immediate postponement of all activities long planned to mark his 70th birthday, following the death in a helicopter crash of Gen. Azazi, Governor Yakowa and others in a helicopter crash in Bayelsa. Such is the stuff of a great leader.