Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Deputy National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, Sunday in Lagos threw back accusations of conspiracy in the ongoing terror campaign waged by Boko Haram insurgents in the northeast corridors of the nation.
Spokesman for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mr. Olisa Metuh last week accused Mr. el-Rufai and former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, of conspiracy to terror, suggesting they have deeper knowledge to the operations of the insurgents, although he offered no evidence or insight to his claims.
Now, speaking through his publicist, Muyiwa Adekeye, Mr. el-Rufai described the accusations as “a poor and vain effort to distract attention from governance deficits” and suggested that Mr. Metuh has built a profile for distorting “words from leading opposition politicians, and them misname his resulting concoction as evidence.”
Mr el-Rufai adds: “This posture reflects the strong synergy between that party and its government whose record is a long litany of incompetence, insensitivity, impunity and needless deaths. In place of governance, the PDP government offers excuses or blames others for its glaring failures. If its officials are not blaming jobseekers for the poor crowd control that led to fatalities, its officials will be busy shirking their duty to uphold the welfare and security of the people. Yet every attempt by the PDP government to politicise and trivialise its abject security failures merely reminds everyone that it is not governing.”
The APC chieftain then cautioned his political rival “to be wary when it comes to the subject of twisting speech”characterizing this as “a vulnerable…terrain .”
Mr el-Rufai said, “After the 1 October 2010 bombing in Abuja, President Jonathan was engulfed in the unedifying spectacle of trying to absolve the organisation that had claimed responsibility for it. When the United Nations building suffered a terrorist outrage, the president visited the scene to assure Nigerians that it is their turn to experience some of that global scourge.”
Recalling the recent snafu involving Mr. Reno Omokri, President Jonathan’s aide on Social Media, Mr. el Rufai stated: “Weeks after a presidential aide was caught employing the ruse of a pseudonym to disseminate poison, mum has been the response of the government. Like Metuh’s statement, that effort was aimed at smearing someone at odds with the government with allegations of links to terror.”
In his view, Mr. el Rufai suggested that “Media commentaries have already reflected some concerns about whether terror persists because the government sees political advantage in it. With schools, towns and army barracks still being attacked in the North-East, it is clear that our gallant security forces need to be better resourced and led to secure lives and property. That solemn duty is what should exercise a government worthy of the name. But this current regime is so seized by electoral calculations that it neglects its basic duties.”
He said the PDP accusation amounted to criminalizing speech and seeking to transform that into evidence, because “Terror is a crime, as is abetting it.” For which reason “No competent government will use evidence of terror links only for purposes of propaganda.”
Asking “Why is this “evidence” not being tested in a competent court of law?” Mr. el Rufai linked what he called “PDP’s medieval ethos” to the practice to “mistake presence in or closeness to a government with patriotism.”
He also promised to continue “to discharge his patriotic duty of speaking out against incompetence and electoral skullduggery” warning Mr. Metuh that “political banter is no justification for libel.”
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