The governor of Kano State, Rabi’u Kwankwaso, on Tuesday criticised President Goodluck Jonathan for not taking a decisive step to stamp out the Boko Haram menace.
Mr. Kwankwaso accused the president of behaving like the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, instead of the armed forces.
NTA is the Federal Government-owned television station.
The governor, believed to be eyeing Mr. Jonathan’s job on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, said rather than stop the killings by the sect in the north, the president was busy comparing himself with other first class leaders across the world on national television.
He stated this at the Progressives Governors Forum Lecture Series in Owerri, Imo State.
The theme of the lecture, the third in the series, was “Dealing with the Challenge of Building Physically Healthy Nation through Preventive, Protective and Innovative medicine”.
The guest lecturer was Ijeomah Okoye, a professor of medicine at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
While giving the vote of thanks at the end of the lecture, Mr. Kwankwaso, who was apparently responding to repeated allegations by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that the APC was supporting the Boko Haram sect as well as recent allegations by Steven Davies, an Australian, said it was important that Mr. Jonathan as Commander-in-Chief halted the sect’s insurgency.
Mr. Davis, a government-appointed mediator in the Boko Haram crisis, said that some prominent Nigerians, including a former governor of Borno State, Modu Ali Sheriff and a former Chief of Army State, Azubike Ihejirika were sponsoring the Boko Haram sect,
Mr. Kwankwaso said, “Let me take the opportunity to comment on the issue raised by our host, Chief Rochas Okorocha on the issue of Boko Haram. To me and many of us, who are very close to the frontline, the issue is not who is Boko Haram and who is not Boko Haram.”
“The issue is not the party which supports or party which does not support, but the issue is that some people have taken arms. And from our own side we believe whether these people belong to party A or party B, whether anybody is supporting or not supporting is not the issue.
“The issue is the Commander-in-Chief should go and stop what is happening in this country. And it is very clear to all of us that the Commander-in-Chief has failed. Innocent people are being killed. Government must not allow people to take guns, go to the market, go to the churches, go to the mosques, go to Nyanya, go to UN Building and everywhere to kill people.
“Government, especially Commander-in-Chief must stop. I think that is the issue as far as we are concerned. I find it very insulting to see those who have failed in their primary assignments insulting us on NTA and other televisions, wearing uniform, comparing themselves, pretending to be first class leaders like Barack Obama, like Mandela and other leaders who have protected their people. Many of us are beginning to wonder whether we have Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces or Commander-in-Chief of NTA.”
Mr. Kwankwaso commended the National Chairman of the APC, John Odigie-Oyegun and urged him to lead the party to victory in 2015.
“He is the one of the most experienced politicians in this country. Continue to lead us right so that so that we have the opportunity to kick out the incompetent administration in Abuja just like we are kicking out Ebola. Mr. Chairman, at the end of the day by the grace of God, in 2015 we will have a progressive government at the centre, states and local governments,” he said.
The Kano State governor also commented on the crisis plaguing the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, saying its chairman, Rotimi Amaechi “has been doing a fantastic job.”
According to him, “As far as we know among progressive governors in this country, NGF has only one chairman and that is Rotimi Amaechi because we believe 19 is bigger than 16 and among the 16 many of them have joined us and will continue to join us as progressives.”
He said the governors would implement the suggestions made by the lecturer and the discussants.
In his closing remarks, the Chairman of the occasion and a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, commended the lecturer and discussants.
“I tried to compare the details of their presentation and also the policy remarks made by our chief host, our most respected chairman and myself. I find no divergent views. So basically what we have ended with here is today is the phrase I will like to borrow from Professor Oyewale Tomori’s presentation – the progressives versus the reformers. It is clear for everybody to see and the right direction for this country is change from the transformer to the progressives.” he said.