The opposition party has blasted the federal government’s handling of the crisis.
The Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN has praised the All Progressives Congress, APC, governors, who defied security fears to visit Borno state last week, saying their action was a boost to the country’s unity and a blow to anarchists.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said the governors have reassured the people of Borno and Yobe states, which are the most affected by the Boko Haram crisis that other Nigerians remained with them.
The party said the visit exposed how “baseless” federal government’s fears were about insecurity in the two states, and how the government failed to show that the crisis was not just a problem of a section of the country but a national problem.
”There can be no better assurance of solidarity and support for the beleaguered people of the states affected by the Boko Haram crisis than to see leaders from various parts of the country walking – without donning bullet proof vests and helmets – on the open streets of a
city that has been described as the epicenter of the Boko Haram insurgency,” the party said.
“It does not mean the crisis does not exist, but it sends a strong signal to the insurgents that they have only succeeded in cowing a very few, not all, Nigerians, and that indeed under a purposeful APC government the conflict will in no time become history,” ACN said.
The party said the message conveyed most succinctly by the visit to President Goodluck Jonathan was that ”No part of Nigeria should be a no-go area, especially for the President and the Commander-in-Chief.”
”Part of the reason this needless Boko Haram crisis has festered is that the President in particular has failed to show leadership. By staying away from the affected parts of the country since the crisis started in 2009 for fear of his personal safety, and also receding behind the safe walls of the Aso Rock fortress to celebrate independence anniversaries, the President has unwittingly emboldened the anarchists who have killed and maimed thousands.
”When Presidents in other lands defy terrorists, it is not that they don’t care about their own safety, but that they simply want their compatriots to know that whatever fate befalls them is shared by their leaders,” the party said.
“That was why President George W. Bush of the US flew to Iraq in the heat of the insurgency there, and President Barack Obama also of the US travelled to Afghanistan even amid threats. By the way, both places are thousands of kilometers from the United States,” the statement added”
The party said if it is true, as reported, that President Jonathan now plans to visit Borno this week, for the first time since the crisis started in 2009, it then means the C-in-C had beem waiting for the kind of ground-breaking visit of the APC governors.
ACN said it was particularly disturbing, going by reports that the Federal Government worked clandestinely to abort the trip of the state governors, using the State Security Service, SSS and its phantom report of an attack against the governors.