The Congress for Progressive Change, in a press statement released today, rose swiftly to the defense of front man General Muhammad Buhari who came under fire by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party yesterday over “inciting comments” the former military ruler made earlier this week.
Buhari made headlines in the news when, in a closed meeting with CPC leaders in Kaduna, he compared the Jonathan-led administration to radical sect, saying “the biggest Boko Haram is the Federal Government”. General Buhari further predicted bloodshed in 2015 should those elections favor the ruling party.
The inciting remarks sparked outrage from the PDP. In a hastily convened press conference on Tuesday, National Publicity Secretary to the party, Mr. Olisa Metuh, condemned “in no uncertain terms” Buhari’s unpatriotic comments, saying they showed a “blood thirst” for political power.
The President’s special adviser on media, Dr. Reuben Abati, followed the press conference with the release of a press statement, in which he accused Buhari of fostering divisiveness in Africa’s most populous nation and widening the rift between Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.
“Buhari never bothered to campaign in the southern part of the country and consistently played up the North-South divide to the chagrin of patriotic and well-meaning Nigerians. As the results revealed, Nigerians will never vote for anyone who wants to divide the country,” the statement signed by Abati read.
In an effort to distance the administration from the sect, the statement said a President who has supported education cannot be part of Boko Haram, which translates to “Western Education is sin”.
“That being the case, one wonders how a government that devoted the largest sectoral allocation in the 2012 budget to education could be said to be Boko Haram.”
But the CPC is not backing down from Buhari’s comparison, calling Abati’s reasoning “inane”. Once again reiterating Buhari’s position, the CPC said “it is the political Boko Haram, with its extremely lethal content, that the Jonathan led Federal Government represents”.
The opposition party further accused the PDP of practicing bad politics and uneven justice. In the statement signed by the CPC’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, the party recalled the Jonathan’s handling of the 2010 Independence Day bombings that left 12 dead in Abuja.
Though a trial is still pending, suspected leader of MEND, a Niger Delta militant group, is accused of being behind the bombings after the group released a statement claiming responsibility for it, a claim which President Jonathan refuted at first.
“Without waiting for any preliminary report from the Security Agencies, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, as President, told a traumatized Nation, “it is not MEND!” Meanwhile, MEND is the name for the militant group from Dr Good-luck Jonathan’s ethnic extraction that had in the immediate past waged relentless and potent insurgency against the Nigerian state but had been placated with more slice of the Nation’s resources ceded to the region. Indeed, MEND impugned the President’s statement and admitted responsibility.”
The CPC also pointed to the fuel subsidy N3 trillion scam as further proof of corruption and injustice in the Jonathan-led government.
“Nigerians are still befuddled by the impeachable show of arbitrariness by the regime in expending N2.67Trillion on fuel subsidy instead of the appropriated N240Billion in the 2011 appropriation act. As expected, the regime has attempted all manner of subterfuge to give Executive cover for the indicted people in the scam, who were the bank-rollers of the President’s electioneering campaign. Could it be that the missing money was funneled deliberately to the Jonathan Presidential Campaigns, with the acquiescence of the President?”
In the statement, CPC accused the PDP of favoring the south in politics and resources and further questioned the credibility of the 2011 elections.
The PDP on its part dismissed the allegations, saying Buhari “has obviously refused to listen to the Nigerian People, the European Union, the Commonwealth Monitoring Group, the African Union and a multitude of independent electoral monitors who testified that the 2011 elections were free and fair and “the best elections since Nigeria returned to civil rule.”