The All Progressives Congress (APC) has faulted Chief Edwin Clark for brazenly goading President Goodluck Jonathan to remove the democratic structures in the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, which are under a state of emergency over the activities of the terror group Boko Haram.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said apart from pushing the President to commit an unconstitutional act, Chief Clark is also working to help the PDP to devise an undemocratic way to win elections in 2015 by forcefully overthrowing elected officials in the state.
It said Chief Clark’s outburst against the Attorney-General of the Federation for ”misadvising” President Jonathan on the declaration of emergency in the three states is not aimed at clipping the wings of the insurgents but simply to give an unfair advantage to a party that has given the chief juicy patronage, so that his gravy train will not derail.
APC said contrary to insinuations by the Federal Government, the three state governments have given the troops deployed to their states unprecedented support both in cash and kind, without which the war on terror there may have been harder to fight.
”The Borno State government, for example, has provided equipment and logistics worth 10 billion Naira to the military, and this includes the provision of Armoured Personnel Carriers, 400 brand new patrol vehicles, regular fuelling, provision of accommodation for soldiers and cash as immediate palliatives to families of slain soldiers, training, kitting and payment of stipends to civilian volunteers and robust intelligence support for the military using residents, hunters, vigilantes and the traditional institutions.
”It therefore baffles any informed observer how this massive support could have hindered the fight against Boko Haram, as Chief Clark insinuated in his unnecessary diatribe, which he made with his usual flair,” the party said.
The party therefore raises a number of questions: ”Will the removal of the elected officials in the three states improve security in the states and immediately end the insurgency? Will it make the army better equipped? Will it provide better intelligence? Will it scare Boko Haram away? Will it increase the number of troops? Will it improve military logistics and planning? Will it inspire the people or build their confidence and sense of security? Will it translate to a better trained and nimble military force?
”Won’t the removal of the officials eliminate a critical logistic and coordination infrastructure? Won’t it eliminate the very support system the military has depended on in those states? Won’t it eliminate a major rallying point and support system for the victims and residents of these states? Won’t it eliminate a major interface that even the military itself uses to engage the people? Won’t it eliminate a critical component of coordination and intelligence gathering? Won’t it eliminate the most critical resource for succor, support and alleviation to the communities suffering under this terrorist siege?”
APC said the simple answer to the orchestrated rabble rousing by the ever pesky Chief Clark is that he and his ilk are seeking to give an undue advantage to the PDP ahead of the 2015 general elections, since the three states involved are all opposition states where the PDP knows it can not win a free, fair and transparent elections either today or at any time
The party said elder statesmen should endeavour to rise above the fray and put the national interest above sectional considerations in their efforts to help seek an end to the insurgency that has claimed over 12,000 innocent lives since 2009.
The party said it is the same mindset as Chief Clark’s that has largely stifled the Jonathan Administration’s efforts to decisively tackle the Boko Haram insurgency.
”From the onset, the Jonathan Administration resorted to crying wolf where there is none, labelling the opposition and the so-called Northern elites of being the sponsors of Boko Haram and trying desperately to label it as a religious war. When that fails, the same government now wants to profit from the same insurgency it blames on the opposition and others. There is no way the Jonathan Administration can eat its cake and have it.
”Removing the Governors of the three states under a state of emergency and replacing them with PDP members or those with sympathy for the party, as the Clarks of this world are advocating, cannot be the panacea to the terrorist activities of Boko Haram. It can only give the ruling party an unfair electoral advantage and further worsen the anti-terror fight.
”We therefore reject this satanic postulation and again reiterate our stand that Boko Haram is an enemy of Nigeria, of Christians and Muslims, Northerners and Southerners, the rich and the poor, the elite and the ordinary citizens, hence we must all forge a common national front against the bandits rather than engage in divisive and partisan tactics,” APC said