From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned the killing of the Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Idrissa Timta, by suspected Boko Haram gunmen, saying it confirms the terror group as the enemy of the whole of Nigeria, rather than a group set up by some imaginary opposition political party or elites to bring down the Jonathan administration.
In a statement issued in Lagos at the weekend, by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the atrocious killing of the Emir is the clearest indication yet that the Jonathan administration has mis-diagnosed the Boko Haram menace from the onset.
It recalled that when the indiscriminate activities of Boko Haram are placed side by side with others facts: that the group started in 2002 when Obasanjo was President and flared in 2009 when Yar’adua was President, one would realize how deceitful and diversionary it is for anyone to portray is as an attempt to make Nigeria ungovernable under Jonathan.
‘’Boko Haram is not a northern response to a southern presidency, as some would have us believe. Boko Haram is an enemy of Nigeria; whether Christians or Muslims, southerners or northerners, the lowly or the elite, the young or the old, the poor and the rich. They must be seen for what they are: fringe elements, who happen to have linked up with other terror groups around the world to acquire training and weapons which they are now using to terrorize a whole nation.
‘’That Emirs, who are Muslims and symbols of power in the North, can be so dastardly attacked, with deadly consequences, should convince those who would rather engage in blame game than fight the bandits, that what the country faces is neither a strictly religious nor elite war, and make them to change their jaundiced mindset.’’If indeed Boko Haram was sponsored by the so-called northern elites against Jonathan, how come they are not even sparing the same elites? If indeed Boko Haram is sponsored by the North against Jonathan, why are their deadly attacks concentrated in the North, where they have killed thousands and destroyed facilities and infrastructure worth billions?
APC restated its demand for a national security conference, as different from a gathering of all political parties, to help forge a common front against Boko Haram.
‘’We also reiterate our offer to join hands with the government in a non-partisan effort to battle the menace of Boko Haram, even though the government has yet to reach out to us since we made that offer,’’ the party said.