From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has strongly condemned the attack by apparently-sponsored thugs against the ‘bring back our girls’ protesters who have hitherto conducted themselves in a civil and peaceful manner.
The party referred to the attack as deplorable and definitely orchestrated to shift the focus from ‘bring back our girls’ to ‘release our girls’.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the attack on the protesters in Abuja has confirmed its worst fears that the federal government was embarking on a campaign to shift the responsibility from the government to the abductors, in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s admonition to the protesters to direct their protests at the abductors rather than to his government.
The party wondered why the government would be pushing its responsibility to ensure the welfare and security of Nigerians to a band of terrorists.
‘’When we said this federal government has abdicated its responsibility to Nigerians, the government’s apologists twisted that statement of fact to mean that we are insulting the President. Well, what does one make of a government that has now rented a crowd of delinquents to attack the ‘bring back our girls’ protesters and counter their message?
‘’Nigerians voted for Goodluck Jonathan as President, and not for the terrorist called Abubakar Shekau. It is therefore right for them to demand action to return the girls safely from their President, rather than from the anarchist, Shekau,’’ it said.
APC said the fact that the ‘release our girls Boko Haram’ hooligans who invaded the Unity Fountain gathering of the ‘bring back our girls’ protesters came in SURE-P buses and were not restrained by the police, even when letters have been written to the security agency alerting it to such attack, has shown that they enjoy some protection from the authorities and are being sponsored to harass the decent and focused protesters who have helped called global attention to the plight of the innocent girls.
‘’This obnoxious campaign to shift the responsibility for the safety and security of the girls from the government to the terrorists started with the sponsored protests to the Defence Headquarters in Abuja and has continued with the depressing attacks on a women-led group by a band of paid ruffians.
‘’Worst still, a government that so far has proven to be clueless and incompetent in ensuring the safe return of the girls has now resorted to wasting taxpayers money to rent a crowd of scallywags to assault innocent Nigerians, who are mostly women, and distort the image of the highly-responsible ‘bring back our girls’ protesters.