An Abuja-based group, Elite Youths Support and Development Initiative, EYSDI, on Tuesday said the comments made by a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Audu Ogbeh, about the #BringBackOurGirls campaign has injured the group’s credibility.
The criticism came just as Mr. Ogbeh sent a one-page apology to the leaders of the BBOG, saying he never intended to paint them as a sub-APC group.
But despite the apology, the EYSDI said Mr. Ogbeh, a former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, greatly “wounded” the BBOG campaign when he politicized the activity of the group.
EYSDI’s spokesperson, Ibiba Okunye, in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES in Abuja noted that Mr. Ogbeh’s open admission that the campaign the brainchild of the APC has exposed the ulterior motive of opposition party.
“The APC bigwig surprisingly put a lie to what the APC machinery had been telling the nation that it had nothing to do with the #BringBackOurGirls campaign because it regarded them as diversionary and counterproductive,” Ms. Okunye said.
“He categorically mentioned that the campaign was led by members of the APC. The presence and public acknowledgement of the #BBOG campaigner, Hadiza Bala Usman, gave the audience the feeling that the #BBOG campaign was led by some prominent members of the APC.”
Quoting Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, Ms. Okunye said the word; “partisan” means “a firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person; especially one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance.”
Continuing, she said, “People feel betrayed and hoodwinked into believing that the BBOG movement was in the interest of the innocent parents of the abducted Chibok girls, whose pain and anguish have been floundered on the altar of partisan politics.
Ms. Okunye insisted that Mr. Ogbeh’s comment is heart-breaking and a clear indication of how desperate some politicians can be in their quest for power.
The APC’s chieftain had during former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration for the party’s presidential ticket said the #BringBackOurGirls campaigners are members of the opposition party.
But in one-page letter of apology, Mr. Ogbeh said, “I feel obliged to let you know that my statement at our function last week was not intended to paint your group as an APC sub-group.
“This is because, from what we now know, less than two percent of the group are our party members, but members we value highly.
“The rest of you are and may not even belong to any political association whatsoever; this is not to say that you have no right to be if you choose to.
“If my statement caused you discomfort, I do apologise, but reiterate that I have nothing but respect and admiration for you for keeping a six-month vigil and telling the world that the Nigerian conscience is not totally dead.”