In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by the National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also accused the federal government of using the fight against the insurgency as an excuse to punish and witch-hunt the opposition, trample on civil liberties and abuse national institutions on a scale that is unprecedented in the country’s history.
”Far from the baseless and irresponsible accusations and finger-pointing by the PDP and the government it controls at the centre, it is time to tell Nigerians that the only reason the insurgency has continued unabated is because the PDP and the Jonathan Administration are benefitting massively from it.
”That explains their quick dismissal of our call for an international inquiry to unravel the sponsors and modus operandi of the terror group, while latching on to what remains a mere conjecture on the probe of Boko Haram links by the British Parliament. Pray, which is bigger and more authentic, a probe by the British Parliament or an international inquiry? If the PDP and its cohorts have nothing to hide, they would have embraced that call. We maintain that only an international inquiry can unravel those behind Boko Haram, and we thank Nigerians for their favourable response to our call,” APC said.
The party called the attention of Nigerians to the testimony given by a US official, at the US House Foreign Affairs Sub-committee on Africa’s hearing last Thursday in Washington, identifying the human rights abuse record and uncooperative attitude of the Nigerian government and its military authorities as factors hindering the security assistance offered to Nigeria by the US to tackle Boko Haram.
”The Congress was told, by the Specialist at African Affairs Congressional Research Service Lauren Blanchard, that the Nigerian government and its military had not been yielding to America’s suggestions; that the main impediment to America’s efforts to support Nigeria’s broader response to Boko Haram is ‘gross violations committed by the Nigerian forces, the Nigerian government’s resistance to adopting a more comprehensive approach to Boko Haram and the continued lack of political will’.
“The Congress also heard that the he Nigerian government has appeared reticent in some cases to allow its security forces to participate in US training programmes, adding: ‘Multiple systemic factors further constrain the effectiveness of the Nigerian security force’s response to Boko Haram, notably security sector corruption and mismanagement, and some of these factors impede US support even for units that have been cleared for assistance’.
”Does anyone need any more evidence of whose cluelessness and incompetence have allowed Boko Haram to fester to such a level that it has killed over 3,000 people since the beginning of this year alone? Does anyone need further evidence of whose non-cooperative attitude with the US and other foreign friends of Nigeria has been responsible for the failed and tepid efforts to tackle Boko Haram?” it queried.
APC said it is an undisputed fact that Boko Haram emerged against the backdrop of intense poverty and political misrule by the PDP since 1999.
”Since the return to democratic rule in 1999, the PDP has ruled Nigeria till date, and has been responsible for mismanaging over 60 percent of national revenue. Still, very little has changed in terms of progressive improvement in the socio-economic
conditions of most Nigerians. It is hardly a coincidence that Boko Haram emerged in the North-east region of Nigeria, given that it is the poorest region with higher than national average rates of poverty, illiteracy, mortality rates, youth unemployment and social immobility.
”Moreover, states in the North-east receive some of the least allocations from the national treasury individually and collectively. The North-east region, reflecting broader national and even African patterns, is experiencing a ‘youth bulge’ that accentuates the socio-economic deprivations across the region. Given the poor literacy rates of the region, there are millions of young people with neither formal nor Arabic education, not to talk of even vocational skills. Indeed, a majority of youth in the North-east region are unemployable, thus providing a fertile ground for the recruitment of idle youths into groups that engage in criminal acts.
”In short, the PDP’s failure to deliver credible democratic dividends, specifically socio-economic progress (employment, social infrastructure, quality of life initiatives, regular power supply etc) and its obsession with retaining political power at all cost, a la ‘do or die politics’, provide logical grounds for the horde of security challenges witnessed across Nigeria since 1999,” the party said.
APC accused the PDP of profiting from the Boko Haram insurgency, hence the ruling party has always been dismissive of any genuine efforts to end the crisis, preferring to continually demonize the APC as the sponsors of Boko Haram even when there is no scintilla of evidence to back this up.
”Fortunately, US officials interviewed by the international wire service Reuters for a recent story said there is little or no evidence to back up the claims by the Nigerian government that some prominent northerners or politicians are sponsoring Boko Haram. Now, the Jonathan Administration has been hoisted by its own petard,” the party said.
Backing up its claims that the Jonathan Administration is profiting from the Boko Haram insurgency, it said the PDP is using the crisis to launder the image of the Jonathan presidency by securing attendance and participation for President Jonathan at important international summits and meetings.