Miss­ing girls: Sus­pend Yola rally, APC tells Jonathan

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Kay­ode Ekun­dayo (La­gos), & Balarabe Alka­s­sim (Abuja)

The All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) yes­ter­day urged Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan to sus­pend the po­lit­i­cal rally he plans to at­tend in Yola on Tues­day un­less the miss­ing Borno school­girls were found.

Over 200 fe­male stu­dents of the Govern­ment Girls Sec­ondary School Chi­bok are yet to be found since their ab­duc­tion on April 14 by sus­pected Boko Haram gun­men.

“(The) Pres­i­dent can­not and should not be cel­e­brat­ing when over 200 school­girls are miss­ing,” the party said yes­ter­day in a state­ment by its spokesman Lai Mo­hammed.

Pres­i­dent Jonathan came un­der crit­i­cism penul­ti­mate week for at­tend­ing a po­lit­i­cal rally in Kano a day af­ter 75 people were killed in a blast at Nyanya, Abuja.

The Adamawa chap­ter of the People’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP) has sched­uled a rally for Tues­day dur­ing which Jonathan will for­mally re­ceive re­tired Gen­eral Buba Marwa and oth­ers who de­fected from the APC.

But APC yes­ter­day said it would in­sen­si­tive to hold the event when the school­girls are yet to be lo­cated.

“We hope and pray that our daugh­ters are re­leased safely even be­fore Tues­day, April 29th when the rally is to be held, but un­til then, it is in­sen­si­tive and indecent for any­one, least of all the Pres­i­dent who is the fa­ther of the na­tion, to en­gage in any cel­e­bra­tory out­ing un­der any guise,’’ Mo­hammed said.

Re­fer­ring to the Kano rally, APC said the Pres­i­dent must not re­peat “the faux pas he com­mit­ted less than 24 hours af­ter 75 of his com­pa­tri­ots were killed in the Nyanya bomb­ing.”

“All de­cent men and women were riled that Pres­i­dent Jonathan went dancing at an il­le­gal cam­paign stop in Kano and pop­ping cham­pagne corks at a birth­day cel­e­bra­tion in Ibadan when the smoke was yet to clear from the scene of the Nyanya bomb­ing,” it said.

“The Pres­i­dent should not re­peat the same mis­take, if in­deed he con­sid­ered that to be one. He should see the miss­ing girls as his own daugh­ters and stop forth­with his il­le­gal cam­paign ral­lies.”

The state­ment also said, “For a Pres­i­dent whose grov­el­ling aides have likened to Nel­son Man­dela, Barack Obama and other great lead­ers in a patently blas­phe­mous cam­paign, he should take time to ask him­self how Obama would have re­acted to one miss­ing girl from any school in the US, not to talk of over 200 miss­ing girls.

“Does Pres­i­dent Jonathan hon­estly be­lieve that Man­dela, in his days as Pres­i­dent, would have been cam­paign­ing when his com­pa­tri­ots are be­ing daily bombed or ab­ducted?

“Syco­phancy has no limit, es­pe­cially in an en­vi­ron­ment where many will dis­own even their chil­dren for pe­cu­niary gains, but Pres­i­dent Jonathan must rise above those who are jus­ti­fy­ing his in­sen­si­tiv­ity by say­ing the govern­ment can­not shut down so as not to give vic­tory to Boko Haram.

“We are not say­ing the govern­ment should shut down. But the Pres­i­dent must shut down all cel­e­bra­tory pub­lic out­ings and all po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns un­til our miss­ing daugh­ters are safely found and re­turned to their homes.”

The PDP and the Pres­i­dency are yet to re­act to the call by APC to sus­pend the Yola rally.

Mean­while, the So­cio-Eco­nomic Rights and Ac­count­abil­ity Project (SERAP) has urged the United Na­tions to “ur­gently in­ter­vene to se­cure the safe re­lease” of the ab­ducted school­girls.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, SERAP ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Adetokunbo Mu­muni urged the Mon­i­tor­ing and Reporting Mech­a­nism (MRM) of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, the Spe­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral on Chil­dren and Armed Con­flict, and the Of­fice of the UN High Com­mis­sioner for Hu­man Rights to pro­vide “in­ter­na­tional as­sis­tance and sup­port to the Nige­rian au­thor­i­ties to se­cure the re­lease of the chil­dren and to en­sure that they are back to school.”

“Con­tin­u­ing ab­duc­tion of these in­no­cent chil­dren is hav­ing neg­a­tive im­pact on their well-be­ing and long-term ed­u­ca­tion. We are urg­ing these bod­ies to move swiftly to sup­port ef­forts to pro­tect schools, teach­ers and stu­dents from de­lib­er­ate at­tack in the North-East of the coun­try,” he said.

“The ab­duc­tion of the chil­dren is also an at­tack on their right to ed­u­ca­tion, and calls for a strong in­ter­na­tional ef­fort.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.