April 15, 2014

Anger, condemnations trail Abuja park blasts

Anger, condemnations trail Abuja park blasts

A survivor of a blast

We’ll defeat Boko Haram —Jonathan
FG has run out of ideas— APC govs
Perpetrators must be brought to book —Buhari
APC calls for national security summit
APC leadership, govs are responsible  —PDP alleges
Jonathan should do more to end bombings —SERAP

ABUJA — President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday, assured the nation that the Boko Haram threat was just a temporary setback, promising that the country would triumph over the terrorists.
Jonathan, who visited the scene of the deadly blast in Abuja, emphasised that there was need for citizens to be enlightened, be security conscious and report suspicious persons and objects to security agencies.

The President who was accompanied to the site by Senate President, David Mark; Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar and Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji  Adamu Mu’azu, was received by the Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, as well as the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force.

He said: “I’m here with the Senate President, David Mark and Chairman of PDP, ministers, CDS and service chiefs and all other very senior government functionaries to collectively express our condolences to the families of those who suffered directly on the incident.

“The issue of Boko Haram is temporary. Government is doing everything to make sure that we move our country forward in spite of all the distractions that want to take us backward. We promise that we will get over it.

“We also want to use this unique opportunity to plead with the media and our great men and women, to come up with enlightenment programmes for our people. Those countries that face terror have developed great awareness. If there are unusual movement of vehicles and bags, they called security and based on this, a lot of incidences are contained.”

Govt has run out of ideas — PGF
But in its own reaction, the All Progressives Congress governors, yesterday, reviewed the security situation in the country and concluded that the Federal Government had run out of ideas on how to checkmate terrorists and other criminals.

The governors, who commiserated with the families of the blast, regretted that the death of innocent Nigerians had become a daily occurrence with little respite.

The statement, which was released by the Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, PGF, and governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, noted with concern that no fewer than 1,000 innocent Nigerians had been slain in the last two weeks.

The PGF said the tragic deaths indicated a major failure on the part of the Federal Government.
“It is plain the government has run out of ideas in the fight against insurgency, ethnic and communal clashes as well as the spate of armed robberies and kidnappings across Nigeria.”

Perpetrators must be brought to book —Buhari
On his part, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) said:  “The attack was horrific, heartbreaking and a cruel act of merciless slaughter. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives. I also pray and hope for the full and speedy recovery of those wounded.

“My heart breaks every time I take to this platform to offer condolences in this tormenting season of seemingly endless violence. I understand that it is difficult for the government to prevent every terrorist attack, but we can always do more to protect our defenceless citizens by boosting our intelligence and counter-terrorism capabilities.

“Words alone cannot express the full solemnity of our grief. We can only honour the memories of our country men and women by winning this war against terrorism and bringing to justice the perpetrators of those dastardly acts.

It’s cowardly, barbaric—Tambuwal
Speaker of the House of Representatives,  Aminu Tambuwal, has also  condemned the attack.
In a statement  in Calabar by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Dalhatu Imam, Tambuwal described the attack as cowardly and barbaric.

He said all Nigerians must join hands to bring an end to the spate of wanton killings in the country.
The speaker further urged security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of the violent act are brought to justice.

While condoling with the families of those who lost loved ones in the blast, Tambuwal prayed for the quick recovery of those injured.
Also, speaking in the same vein, Rep Tajudeen Yusuf, PDP, Kogi described it as an uncouth action and deserves outright condemnation.

He said: “It is barbaric and the highest display of cowardice, we must be resolute. Men of honour must join hand with our patriotic men and women in the police and the  military to find a lasting solution to this unpalatable development.”

Chairman, House Committee on Anti-Corruption, Rep. Abiodun Faleke, APC, Lagos also said: “It is very devastating and unfortunate. The presidency must provide jobs, set up new methods for intelligence gathering to nib this attacks.”

Sultan condemns killings
The Sultan of Sokoto and President General,  Jama’atu Nasri Islam (JNI),  Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar  condemned  the bombings.
The Sultan, who was speaking at the opening ceremony of the JNI Central Council meeting holding at its national headquarters,  however, said: “Muslims are at the receiving end. More Muslims are being killed.

“We condemn the bombing in strong terms and pray that Allah will expose the perpetrators in the nearest future. There is the urgent need for the government to come to the aid of innocent Nigerians who are always victims of the attacks and bombings.”

APC calls for national security summit
On its part, the APC urged the Federal Government to urgently convene a national stakeholders’ security summit to help find a lasting solution to the spate of mindless killings in the country.

In a statement issued in Lagos, yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party expressed its shock and sadness at the savagery of the attack, while condoling with the families of those killed and praying for a quick recovery for the injured.
It said: “It is time for new thinking, new ideas to stop this insurgency before it consumes all of us. ”

APC  leadership, govs are responsible  —PDP alleges
National leadership of the PDP has alleged that the leadership of the opposition APC and their governors were responsible for yesterday’s bomb explosion.

Noting that the attacks cannot be justified under any guise, the PDP raised alarm that they were politically motivated and can be traced to the utterances and comments of those it termed “desperate persons who seek to undermine and discredit the present administration and make the nation ungovernable for President Goodluck Jonathan by instituting a reign of terror against the people.”

In a statement yesterday by PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party while  condemning the act as barbaric, monstrous and extremely wicked, stressed that the party was shocked and had remained grief-stricken since it received the news of the gruesome attack and killing of Nigerians pursuing their legitimate endeavours.

Alleging that the APC should be held responsible over the  sad and unfortunate incident, Metuh said: “We stand by our earlier statements that these attacks on our people are politically motivated by unpatriotic persons, especially those in the APC, who have been making utterances and comments, promoting violence and blood-letting as a means of achieving political control.

“Nigerians are also aware of utterances by certain APC governors which have been aimed at undermining our security forces and emboldening insurgents against the people.”

Jonathan should do more to end bombings —SERAP
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has said that “the unlawful and unnecessary killings of many Nigerians showed that the measures the government is taking to tackle the Boko Haram phenomenon are inadequate and simply not working.”

The organisation urged President Jonathan to “show leadership and urgently initiate fundamental changes in the security strategy to end continuing civilian casualties, and a climate of insecurity across the country.”

In the statement signed by SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the group said: “Nigerians have heard promises from this government before that it would take all possible steps to prevent bombing tragedies and citizens’ deaths and injuries. But if this government is to be taken seriously on its promises to protect the citizens, this latest explosion needs to be the last of its kind. The government must now come up with a blueprint to end continuing bombing tragedies.”