The visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to Borno and Yobe States has sparked a war of words between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).
While the PDP endorsed the visit and described it as a show of the President’s forthrightness and great concern for the safety of Nigerians including those living in Borno and other troubled spots in the country, the CPC said the visit was of no useful purpose.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP Olisa Metuh, in a statement, said that President Jonathan and the PDP understood and shared in the worries of Borno elders on the imperative of cessation of violence and restoration of peace in order to enhance social and economic activities.
“We commend the President for his humane approach and for his unrelenting commitment to improve the welfare of Nigerians.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) fully aligns with the challenge of President Goodluck Jonathan to the Bornu elders on their responsibility vis a vis the withdrawal of the military Joint Task Force (JTF) .
“The President was not in Borno and Yobe for photo-ops and showmanship as did the Governors of the opposition APC who cooed in the streets of Maiduguri and boasted in the media to invite attention to themselves. The President was on a genuine mission for peace and development,” the PDP said.
Countering the PDP, however, CPC’s spokesman, Rotimi Fashakin stated that the tour of the President was nothing but a “meretricious expedition”.
Fashakin said that from the failure of the visit, it was obvious that it was quickly arranged following the successful and brave visit of the Progressive Governors to Borno State.
“It is difficult to believe that the real reason was not a very infantile desire to match up the progressive governors’ tumultuous visit to Borno State in the preceding week!
“The unanswered question remains: what has changed between the serial postponements of the President’s visit to these states in the last two years because of the predictable reason of unfavorable security reports and the decision to visit last Thursday?.
“Was it the feat of the Progressive Governors in freely interacting with the people on the streets of Maiduguri with minimal security presence that made the President believe a trip to these hot-beds is possible, albeit with the aid of a 3,000-strong Police force ably led by the Inspector General of Police (IGP)? It was obvious that the knee-jack response of the Presidency to the Progressive Governors’ visit did not consider the necessity of a meaningful interface with the traumatised citizenry as an integral part of such a visit,” the CPC posited.