APC Slams Jonathan Over Threats To Pull Out Military From Borno

Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri

The All Progressives Congress, APC, has condemned President Goodluck Jonathan’s threat to withdraw the military from Borno State, describing the position as unwarranted, unpresidential and petty.

Jonathan, during a media chat on Monday had insisted that the military is achieving success in curbing terrorism in the country’s North east and that if the governor of Borno State thinks otherwise, he would withdraw military troops for a month to show the difference.

A frustrated Governor Kashim Shettima last week had told the President that going by the present approach, the military may be unable to defeat the Boko Haram sect as activities so far showed that the terrorists are more sophisticated and motivated that security operatives.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, the interim national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, said President Jonathan was wrong to have threatened, no matter how subtly, to withdraw from Borno the troops who are battling against Boko Haram insurgents, and urged him to apologize to the people of Borno and to all Nigerians for the presidential indiscretion.

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The party said the threat showed clearly that the President lacks full grasp of what is expected of him as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

“Mr. President, your most important duty as President is to ensure the welfare and security of all Nigerians, irrespective of the criticisms you may face or whether or not they voted for you. Therefore, you are not doing anyone a favour by performing that duty. It is the role you swore an oath to perform,” the APC said.

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It said the President should know that as a leader, he cannot afford to be taking decisions on the basis of a perceived slight or criticism, because such decisions might turn out to be wrong and counter-productive.

“By his threat to pull out the troops from Borno for one month, he has further victimized the good people of the state, who have been at the receiving end of the senseless attacks by Boko Haram. A retraction of his threat and an apology to the people will be a good starting point for Mr. President to make amends,” APC said

Meanwhile, students of higher institutions of learning across the state have urged President Jonathan to make a trip to Borno, in order to appreciate what the people of the state was facing in the hands of the Boko Haram insurgency.

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The students under the auspices of National Union of Borno State Students, NUBOSS, said the president can only know the extent of the loss of the people to the Boko Haram insurgency after a visit to affected areas and then understand the frustration of the Governor.

Addressing a press conference in Maiduguri, the national chairman of NUBOSS, Isah Mohammed Biu, said Shettima cannot be blamed for the crisis in the state especially as with the declaration of emergency rule which automatically shifted the responsibility of security in the state to the federal government.

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