Delegates cautioned not to “politicise violence.”
The National Conference delegate, Sani Zoro, has blasted President Goodluck Jonathan for failing to condole with victims of insurgency in states which are not controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Mr. Zoro, who spoke on the floor of the Conference on Tuesday, noted that Mr. Jonathan was yet to commiserate with the government and people of Kano State after Monday’s bomb blast at the School of Hygiene.
Over eight students were killed and scores injured after a man suspected to be a member of the Boko Haram sect detonated a bomb at the school.
Mr. Zoro, a former National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, said, “There was an incident in Kano and there was no expression of sympathy by the Presidency to the people of that state. Mr. Chairman, my analysis has shown that condolences have not been extended to states that are not controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party. This lack of communication by Mr. President is not fair. Anybody who is saying that I am wrong should show me when the President has sent condolences to people in the North-West zone. I want to bring to the notice of this august house that the Presidency should send messages of condolences to the people of Kano State.”
Also speaking on the matter, Adefemi Kila, a delegate representing the Nigerian Institute of Engineers, NIE, condemned the killing of innocent citizens by insurgents in many parts of the North.
Mr. Kila also called for a minute silence to be observed for victims of the Monday blast in Kano. He drew the attention of the Conference to the Ekiti gubernatorial election and the victory of the Super Eagles at the on-going World Cup tournament, and appealed to Nigerians to renew their hope in the country.
“We need to hammer on issues that bring this country together more than what divides us. One of such is the performance of the Super Eagles at the World Cup. I want this Conference to support the team tomorrow. These are the kind of things we want in this country,” Mr. Kila said.
Reacting to what the two delegates said, the Deputy Chairman of the Conference, Bolaji Akinyemi, cautioned against attempts to politicise violence in the country.
Mr. Akinyemi said it was wrong to say that the Presidency does not show concern to victims of insurgency in the North-West zone.
“The bombing in Kano is a very disturbing phenomenon. Let us be careful not to politicise tragedy,” he said.
He noted that he had personally headed two Federal Government delegations to the zone and recounted how when condoling victims of the insurgency in Borno State, he was thoroughly insulted by one of them.
He conceded that although it hurt him to be insulted for a crime he did not commit, the victim of the bomb blast was under a very difficult situation and needed to vent his frustration.
“When the man opened his wounds, all of us were moved to tears. It was at that point we understood why he had insulted us. He was frustrated and needed to vent his anger and pain,” Mr. Akinyemi narrated.
Based on the motion moved by Mr. Zoro and seconded by Mr. Kila, the Conference observed a minute silence for victims of the Kano attack and also voted in favour of sending condolence letters to Mr. Jonathan, the Government of Kano State and victims of the bomb blast.