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Published On: Tue, May 6th, 2014

Missing School girls: APC says First Lady’s intervention counter-productive

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apc logoFrom Ayodele Samuel, Lagos

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the intervention of the First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan in the abduction of over 200 school girls as melodramatic, distractive, counter-productive and calibrated to scapegoat others with the sole intention of exculpating her husband rather than finding the girls.

‘’Make no mistake about it, there is nothing wrong in the First Lady, as a woman and the mother of the nation, playing a role in resolving the unfortunate abduction of the girls, but that role must be within the realms of social activism, not in policy making or conduct of state affairs,’’ the party said in a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

It warned that melodrama, highlighted by the shedding of made-for-television crocodile tears, cannot and will not bring the girls back safely to their parents.

‘’What will bring them back is a purposeful and sustained effort by the Federal Government, which has hitherto been tentative and lethargic. Therefore, enough of the distracting, absurd and overbearing show that the First Lady has put up in the past few days,’’ APC said.

The party advised the First Lady to stop grand standing and to get real by leading a protest of other First Ladies from all the 36 states of the Federation from the Eagle Square to Aso Rock to pressure her husband, President Goodluck Jonathan, on whose laps falls the responsibility of leading the nation to find the girls, to act fast.

It also urged the First Lady to stop apportioning blames at this time so that all efforts can be geared towards finding the girls.

The party wondered where the First Lady derived the powers to summon elected and appointed officials to Aso Rock to answer her queries over the missing girls, saying by doing so, she is usurping the President’s constitutional role, making him to look weak and ineffective in conducting the affairs of state and also making Nigeria the butt of jokes in the international community.

‘’The First Lady has summoned the Borno State Police Commissioner; the Divisional Police Officer for Chibok; the Borno State Commissioner for Education, the relevant Local Government‚ Chairman, the school principal and the school gate man, among others. Where did she derive the authority or power to issue such summons? Does she know the implication of forcing security officials to divulge, on public

television, sensitive information that could even hamper the search for the girls? How can a Police Commissioner, who is not accountable to the Governor of a state, be subject to the First Lady? Where in the Constitution, or any law for that matter, is the role and powers of the First Lady delineated or articulated?’’ it queried.

APC said if the First Lady would not heed the advice to stop summoning public officials to her executive chambers, then the officials should stop honouring such illegal and unconstitutional summons.

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