Jonathan’s government condemns opposition governors’ visit to Maiduguri

Doyin Okupe and Rueben Abatti
Doyin Okupe and Rueben Abatti

The Nigerian president is scheduled to visit Borno this week.

The presidency has described the recently celebrated visit of eight opposition governors to Maiduguri, Borno State, as a media circuit hurriedly packaged to pre-empt the planned visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to the restive states of Borno and Yobe.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, made the assertion Tuesday in Abuja while addressing journalists in his office.

“This is surely an act of crass opportunism and political desperation on the part of these governors and the party they represent,” Mr. Okupe said.

Mr. Okupe said the governors were in Maiduguri simply to ‘feather their political nests’.

“Where were these governors in the last eighteen months that they were in office,” he asked.

He also added that the governors were in Borno as part of their mobilisation drive rather than any patriotic call to duty.

“These are desperate power mongers who flock together in spite of their obvious conflicting political philosophies and inordinate ambitions,” he added.

“Jonathan has performed exceedingly well in curbing insurgency”

Mr. Okupe also said President Jonathan has achieved what no leader has achieved anywhere in the world by greatly curbing the incidents of bombings and insurgency in general.

“No country has ever fought or ended insurgency in two years, but within the last eighteen months, incidences of bombing has drastically reduced, and it appears to be under containment,” he said.

Mr. Okupe also said the president’s scheduled visit to Borno and Yobe this week is well timed as now is the best period for him to go.

“What is important is not just for the president to visit Borno and come back, rather what he has been doing is to spend sleepless nights with security chiefs mapping out strategies to combat the insurgency,” he said.

He said the visit by the APC governors against security reports is “sheer political recklessness which could have caused Nigeria major security embarrassment, but for the fact that the Federal Government and its security apparatus took extra efforts to ensure that the visiting governors were safe,” Okupe said.

“Being elected officials, the onus was on the Federal Government to ensure that they were safe in spite of their being oblivious of the peculiar security implications and real potential dangers inherent in their hurriedly packaged visit,” he added.

Opposition elements lack conscience

Mr. Okupe also came down heavily on the leadership of the opposition parties, especially the ACN and its spokesperson, Lai Mohammed, for ‘the over politicization of virtually every crime and tragedy that happens in the country.”

Mr. Okupe said only the likes of Lai Mohammed and his party can seize the opportunity of the gruesome murder of the late Kwara State Police Commissioner, Chinwike Asadu, to acquire any political mileage without considering the interest of the deceased’s grieving family.

Mr. Okupe added that criminality exists all over the world, but the overriding duty of government is to ensure safety of lives and property and ensure that perpetrators of crime are made to face the full weight of the law.

He said that Mr. Jonathan has vowed that under his government, “nobody will kill a Nigerian and get away with it.”

“We will come after you and we will get you,” he said.

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