BY OKEY NDIRIBE
The All Progressives Convgress, APC, Tuesday fixed its National Convention for the 13th and 14th of June 2014.
The convention which will take place in Abuja would be handled by a Convention Planning Committee with Sokoto State Governor Alhaji Aliyu Wammakoi and Senator Chris Ngige as Secretary.
This was disclosed Tuesday by the Interim National Publicity Secretary of the party Alhaji Lai Mohammed while reading the communique at the end of the party’s 13th National Executive Council, NEC, meeting held in Abuja.
The party also condemned what it described as Federal Government’s insincerity in its fight against Boko Haram and the search for the girls abducted from a school in Chibok, Borno State last month.
“This has been manifest, perhaps more than at any other time, since the tragic abduction of over 200 school girls from Chibok over a month ago.
“Up to this moment, the Federal Government has yet to reach out to the APC, the main opposition party, on how to forge a common front against this despicable terror group, despite our incessant efforts to reach out to the government.”
He further stated that “Nigerians will recall our various interventions in which we stated clearly that only a non-partisan approach could help extricate Nigeria from the death grip of Boko Haram”.
He continued: “We have consistently called on the government to organize a national stakeholders’ summit to put all hands on deck and we have made a number of recommendations which we feel can help pep up the fight against the terror group.
“The only response we have received so far was that in which the government said it had implemented or is implementing these recommendations in what clearly amounts to an unnecessary hubris and a cold shoulder.”
Mohammed further stated that the Federal Government that has been calling on the international community for assistance must know that charity begins at home, and that for all hands to be on deck, the APC cannot be ignored.
Said he: “A party that controls 16 out of 36 states and has over 40 Senators and 150 members in the House of Representatives is too big to be ignored at a critical time like this in the life of our nation.
“A party that controls the three states hardest-hit by the Boko Haram insurgency cannot be excluded from any serious effort to tackle the insurgency.
“Interestingly, the federal government that has been clamouring for support in the anti-terrorism fight did not deem it fit to even reach out to the APC ahead of its announcement of extension of the state of emergency in the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.”
The party called on the government to stop politicizing the fight against Boko Haram and to show sincerity of purpose in its call for a national front to confront the sect.
According to the APC spokesman: “This government must jettison its jaundiced, ridiculous and clearly-partisan view that portrays our party as the sponsor of Boko Haram. This is mere politicking and should stop.”
He recalled that a few minutes after the first Nyanya bombing,the PDP issued a statement blaming the APC for the blast.
” Now that the masterminds of the blast have been arrested and none of them has been proven to have any link with our party, the PDP has yet to admit its faux pas and apologize not just to our party but to the entire nation” he said.
He further stated that APC remains committed to a non-partisan approach to end the scourge of Boko Haram, despite the federal government’s partisanship.
In his own remarks while speaking to journalists earlier on, the National Leader of the Party Asiwaju Bola Tinubu said the Government must examine all options in the effort to rescue the kidnapped girls and bring them out of trauma.
He however expressed dismay that despite the introduction and extension of emergency rule in the three North-Eastern states, the activities of terrorists have continued to escalate.
Said he: “It is a national tragedy.
I don’t know how effective the emergency rule has been in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
” What we want is security for this nation to protect lives and property in a transparent manner.”
He continued: “It is not the state of emergency but the actions, commitment and efforts to achieve the national goal of restoring peace and order. What is important is safety and security.”
He hailed the response of the international community to the Government’s request for assistance in tackling the menace of terrorists in the country.
“The coming of foreign powers is very good for the purpose of assisting our armed forces to achieve the goal of restoring security and safety across the country” he said.
The meeting was attended by most members of the party’s NEC.
Some of them were; the party’s Interim National Chairman Bisi Akande; Interim National Secretary Alhaji Sule Tumsa and the National Organizing Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso.
Others who attended the meeting were the Governors of Osun, Ogun and Kwara states, Rauf Aregbesola, Ibikunle Amosun and Abdulfatah Ahmed.
Also present were Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State; Tanko Al-Makura of Nassarawa State, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State. Also present was former Chairman of New PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje.