Chibok: Much ado about a phantom visit

on   /   in Viewpoint 11:08 am   /   Comments

IN security matters, it is difficult to describe a planned event as phantom, because the men who create the events are likely to un-create it and put the uninitiated in a state of doubt, as it was in the much reported planned trip of President Goodluck Jonathan to Chibok.

When it was first announced, and observers and commentators gullibly swallowed the bait, forgetting that official visits are usually confirmed by presidential spokesmen, it should have been obvious that something was amiss; more so when the spokesman to the President, Reuben Abati, announced a visit to Paris earlier than the rumours of the Chibok visit began.

Pained that what was considered a news break was nothing other than an unconfirmed report which did not take place, journalists, observers, and commentators, as well as the irascible All Progressives Congress (APC) went to town seeking to knife the image of the President. Even if there was such a trip in the first place, was it not the prerogative of the organisers to cancel since it was not officially announced? So, why the ballyhoo? All the noise is just part of the same grand design to make the government look incompetent by lazy thinkers whose stock in trade is mischief.

The APC statement showed a lack of depth about the workings of government at the highest level. Being local champions in the troubled South-West region of the country is not the same as running Nigeria. According to the party, the President’s aborted trip to Chibok was symptomatic of his administration’s policy flip-flop in the fight against the terror group Boko Haram. Interesting! The party is so ignorant that it does not know that in matters of guerrilla warfare and terrorism, you must be careful to be amenable to changes as is the case all over the world.

To drive home the crass ignorance that permeates the confused opposition, it does not know that it is more important for the president to find the lost girls than to be a consoler-in-chief. The parents are not interested in seeing the president before their children and only a callous group will prefer a visit to finding the girls. Curiously, the opposition continues to insist on Jonathan visiting the troubled area as if it is planning something sinister against him there,

APC suggests that the sitting government at the centre has resorted to lying, when actually it was the party and others like it who bought a dummy sold to them by sources that are yet to be disclosed. To justify its gullibility, the APC asks whether presidential advance teams are deployed at will.

The fact that an advanced team moves does not mean that the president is on the move. It is only when the president moves and he is seen on ground that he has moved; so, there was no lying because the president or his aides did not make any announcement as to his movement. You don’t justify gullibility and an ignorance of the workings of the presidency by falling prey to either a dummy or a non-event. APC thinks running Nigeria is like running a disorganised and uncoordinated party like it.

The president’s statement that he was more interested in rescuing the girls above the visit option was read thus by APC : ‘’This statement shows that President Jonathan does not understand the demands of his office, and that in good/bad times, he is to be seen and heard as the lead celebrant/lead consoler for his compatriots…. As usual, a trip – belated as it was – that could have gone a long way in redeeming the battered global image of the Jonathan administration in the handling of the abduction issue has turned out to be another albatross for the President. Again, a president who is demonstrably averse to success has snatched defeat just when he was on the cusp of victory.”

APC’s definition of success is not bringing back the girls but paying a visit for the sake of it. No wonder many with the temperament of APC like Asari Dokubo, are wondering whether the abduction did not have connivance at some level of the APC-controlled state government. For this party of extremists and rude characters who would not mind denigrating a presidency it continues to dream to occupy, just as the goat dreams to be the king of the jungle someday, nothing can be short of decency than to seek relevance by insulting the head of government of your country. But since we have been told of the Janjaweed nature of the party, it is not a surprise to watchers the resort to violent language like the violence that plagues the three APC states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa.

If Jonathan has waffled and wavered on the overall Boko Haram crisis before the terror group gained enough strength to become a runaway monster, how would the rest of Nigerians describe the monumental incompetence of the APC states that brought us to this pass? It is on record that the violence that rocked Borno and Yobe was a balance brought forward by the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) of APC that now wants the PDP to clear its bloody mess. Adamawa was relatively safe until its sailor governor joined the APC. So why wont the APC kill the monster it created for political reasons rather than the uncouth language that has become its lot?

Mr. HAMISU ABUBAKAr, a public affairs commentator, wrote from Abuja.

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