President Goodluck Jonathan has not visited Borno since the current sectarian violence began because he has been too busy with administering the nation, the Peoples Democratic Party said yesterday.
The party also said the cause of the Boko Haram insurgency in Borno was mis-governance by the ANPP-led state government and the way the party under Ali Modu Sheriff managed their relationship.
Addressing reporters at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, the Chairman of Borno state chapter of the party, Alhaji Baba Basharu, said, “I think you are carried away and you have forgotten that it is not only in Borno state that something happened. I am expanding this to show you why the President is not at fault if he does not go to Borno as far as we are concerned.
“The ANPP is worried that the President did not come, but we are not worried as such. If the President thinks it is important for him to visit Borno, he is welcome.
“But you know that there has been Kalare in Gombe. I think people have forgotten a lot of things. There was the Sara-suka in Bauchi and Kano. I can go on and on. What has happened?
“You know how busy a president can be; his own brother of the same family died yesterday, (but) the man had to fly out. So how will you pick this kind of thing just to try to pull down somebody who is trying to build this country? Because he did not go to Maiduguri so what?
“I don’t believe this is an issue. The preoccupation of President Goodluck Jonathan is to administer Nigeria and not to go to Maiduguri or go to Gombe to look at Kalare or go to Bauchi to look at Sara-suka. How many people died in Sara-suka?
“What I am saying is that we don’t look at this thing because he did not go to Maiduguri as an issue. If the President deems it fit to come to Maiduguri, we will be happy for it.”
Basharu said a recent accusation by the Borno state Commissioner of Home Affairs, Information and Culture, Mr. Inuwa Bwala, that the PDP was responsible for the killings in the state and that nobody in the party from the state has been killed since the crisis began was “wicked, irresponsible, baseless and a figment of the imagination of the commissioner”.
He argued that more than 10 PDP members have been killed during the crisis.
He said the accusation was “aimed at causing disaffection, hatred and rancour among the peace-loving people in Borno state, who are already suffering untold hardship and trauma since the crisis started as a result of the ANPP’s mis-governance.”
Basharu said: “It is on record that the crisis precipitated out of control as a result of bad governance, which led to massive unemployment and abuse of the youths of Borno.
“The vituperation of the commissioner is just aimed at diverting public opinion from the state government’s incompetence and maladministration and their obvious culpability in this mess,” he said.
The party chairman asked security operatives to “immediately arrest and interrogate Bwala and get him to disclose the names of those causing mayhem in Borno state since he claims that he knows those involved, be they PDP or whoever.”
He said the party has given the commissioner 14 days to retract his statement and tender unreserved apology in the media, otherwise the PDP would take a legal action against him.