The opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, has promised to recapture all territories lost to the terrorist group, Boko Haram, if the party wins the 2015 election.
The national chairman of the APC, John Oyegun, who addressed a press conference at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja on Thursday, said the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and President Goodluck Jonathan have failed the nation by allowing the terrorist group to take over control of some towns and Local Government in the north east.
Borno state government recently announced that Boko Haram was in control of eight of the twenty seven local governments in the state. Governor Bala Ngilari of Adamawa state also said the insurgents control about five local governments in the state. Boko Haram are reportedly also in control of about three local governments in Yobe state.
Mr. Oyegun pledged that the defence of the territorial integrity of Nigeria and the protection of the lives and property of all who live within its borders would be a non-negotiable priority of an APC Federal Government.
“We will reclaim every inch of Nigerian territory, and liberate fellow citizens who, under the current dispensation, are resigned to life as captured and conquered citizens,” he said.
The APC Chairman also said the Nigerian armed forces would be massively motivated and given the necessary manpower and materials to enable them perform their sacred duty of protecting the country.
“Our people will be mobilized to support and honour our men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line to ensure that we are all protected,” he said.
Mr. Oyegun berated both President Jonathan and his Party, the PDP, accusing them of giving excuses for their failure during Mr. Jonathan’s declaration for re-election on Tuesday.
“Two days ago, you heard President Goodluck Jonathan announce himself as the candidate of the PDP and asked Nigerians for another four years as President,” Mr. Oyegun said. “You heard a lot of claims, misrepresentations and voodoo statistics, none of which can stand the barest scrutiny. Disregard them!
“You heard excuses for failure to fix basic infrastructure, arrest unprecedented levels of corruption and halt the march of terrorists daily inching nearer all of us. You heard promises that sound familiar because you have heard them all before since his six (6) years as President.
“Do not give the party that has savaged Nigeria in the last 16 years an opportunity to finally finish off our dear nation. The PDP cannot deliver on any of the same promises it has failed to honour in over a decade and a half in power.”
He said the 2015 election would be decided on the character and leadership qualities of the Nigerian President.
Mr. Oyegun said the Commander-in-Chief should also be “Consoler-in-Chief” bringing comfort and succor to the people in time of grief and distress.
“You heard two days ago President Jonathan saying that good leaders do not walk away from the people, sadly though the statement is true, our President who wants another four years does not show evidence of sympathy for hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens who are now Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) as a result of the occupation of their land by Boko Haram,” he said.
“‘He brings no relief or comfort to those living under the reign of terror. About 50 young Nigerian School Children were killed and several others injured in Potiskum just a few days before the extravaganza show of his declaration. Yet we do not hear of a Presidential visit to the families of the victims, a pattern that has become usual.
“Our President lives in his comfort zone, content to utter words, and ‘minutes of silence’ that have no meaning to the victims.”
The APC Chairman said Mr. Jonathan has abandoned the Nigerian people.
“We should end the journey with President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 and elect a leader who will be part of our lives and lead with courage and empathy,” he said
What we will do
Mr. Oyegun called on Nigerians to support APC candidates in the forthcoming elections because apart from restoring lost territories, the party will by the grace of God in 2015 commence the challenging but necessary process of charting a more secure and more prosperous future for all Nigerians.
“Armed with your mandate, we will raise the standards of governance and condition of living of all citizens to levels which all Nigerians deserve as of right,” he said. “We will stop the rot and the descent to uncertainty and disaster which the sixteen years of PDP misrule has plunged us to as a nation. We will restore to Nigerians the hope and assurance that our nation can be made whole again, and that our leaders will submit themselves to the will and needs of our people.”
He also said an APC Federal administration would unite all Nigerians by eliminating policies and sentiments such as religion and ethnicity which the PDP has deliberately exploited to divide the nation.
“We will restore the faith and confidence of Nigerians in each other, and ensure that no Nigerian anywhere suffers any disadvantage on account of his or her religious affiliation or ethnic origin,” he said. “We will uphold the rule of law and protect the human rights of all our citizens.”
Mr. Oyegun said the APC was under no illusions about the magnitude of the task it would be called to embark upon.
It will be a massive challenge, he said, adding however that they draw strength and inspiration from the knowledge that the overwhelming majority of Nigerians recognize that a continuing PDP administration cannot guarantee Nigerians a future of prosperity, dignity and peace.
“We, in the APC, are in touch with the sentiments, aspirations and concerns of our people,” he said. “To those who are now living and dying in occupied parts of our nation; to those who are displaced and living in refugee camps because their homeland is occupied by terrorists, to those who are in fear of the imminent occupation of their homeland by savage elements, we say help is on the way and positive change is near.”
He said the APC will chart a new course of recovery and regeneration for Nigeria by setting very high standards of respect for the rule of law, such that the country will never again experience the unprecedented scale of impunity that has been the central feature of the PDP led administration.
“We see this impunity on display in the administration’s tyrannical reaction to the exercise of the right of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal to change his party. The Police arrogated to itself the power of the judiciary to interpret the Constitution and withdrew the security details of the Speaker.
“The illegal and high-handed action by the Police in removing the security details of a sitting Speaker of the House of Representatives has attracted strong and widespread condemnation from within and outside Nigeria. The Department of Security Services, a service which was hitherto insulated from partisan politics have also been directed and has similarly withdrawn its operatives from the Speaker,” Mr. Oyegun said.
TAN and the return of Capital Oil assets to Ifeanyi Uba
Mr. Oyegun said yet another manifestation of the PDP administration’s fondness for impunity and its disturbing tendency to cuddle corruption is brought to the fore with the recent release to Capital Oil Ltd all its assets hitherto lawfully acquired by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON as a result of its involvement in the fuel subsidy scam.
“It is not a secret that the proprietor of Capital Oil is the coordinator or convener of the widely derided Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, TAN, that is at the forefront of the obscene and doomed campaign for the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan. A great nation like Nigeria should not be run with such crass disdain for decency, common sense and the rule of law.
“Once in office, our party will govern with openness and transparency, and every kobo belonging to the public will be judiciously utilized and meticulously accounted for.
“We will call corruption by its name and fight it with the vehemence it deserves. We will restore the faith of the public in the necessity for leaders to live honestly and lead with vision, competence and compassion,” Mr. Oyegun said