The APC accused the president of insensitivity.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, has criticised President Goodluck Jonathan for devoting his broadcast to the nation on Wednesday night to the centenary celebrations instead of the cold-blooded murder of dozens of school children in Yobe State.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said the President’s action sent a wrong signal to the world about the value which the Nigerian government placed on the lives of the nation’s children.
The party asked what was so important about the centenary celebrations that it would be elevated over and above what in any nation would be considered a monumental tragedy. It described the President’s broadcast as insensitive, misplaced, and an embarrassment to Nigeria.
”Even as the nation is still counting the death toll from Monday night’s senseless and gruesome murder of our children, and the ceaseless killings of innocent civilians before that, the President has already switched into a celebratory mood, dwelling on the money-wasting centenary-celebrations instead of leading a clearly distraught nation in mourning. Nothing better illustrates the fact that the President showed more concern about the centenary celebrations than the calamity that befell the nation than the mention, in only about three paragraphs, of the tragedy in a speech that spanned over 40 paragraphs,” the party pointed out.
The party said the Jonathan government had failed in ensuring the welfare and security of Nigerians, especially the children. It claimed the president had goofed, and should quickly make amends by visiting the scene of the tragedy to empathise with the families of the victims as well as the government and people of the state, which is what any good leader would do under the circumstances.
“While the nation waits for the President to hit the road to Yobe and Borno, we call on the federal government to massively scale down the centenary celebrations, if it does not want to cancel them. It is incongruous, unconscionable, unacceptable and an assault on our collective humanity to be celebrating, throwing fireworks and popping champagne cocks when the ashes of our children, who were slaughtered and burnt to death for no fault of theirs, are still so fresh. We should not do what will amount to dancing on the graves of the children whom we have collectively failed. Yes, we cannot bring those children back to life, but we can at least soothe the pains of their families through genuine empathy and soberness,” APC said.