The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, yesterday lambasted President Goodluck Jonathan over his poor handling of terrorist activities in the country, especially in the northern region.
The pan-northern socio-political organisation, also rejected the extension of the state of emergency in the North-East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, that have come under heavy attacks by the extremists lately.
The forum says it was absolutely unnecessary to extend the emergency rule in the three north-eastern states.
The group, in a statement by its Secretary-General, Col. Paul Ubah (retd.), in Kaduna on Thursday , lampooned President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience, for their poor handling of the abduction of the schoolgirls from the Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State.It said rather than extending the emergency rule in the three states, the Federal Government should bring the entire country under emergency rule because of the state of insecurity in the country.
The statement reads in part, “The President did not approach the abduction with a sense of urgency nor seriousness until ordinary Nigerians poured out onto the streets, demanding greater action. The First Lady remained characteristically disrupted all efforts by concerned Nigerians. Her reaction to the street protests was to set up her own panel of inquiry to which she summoned federal and state government officials, including wives of governors.
“She conducted a mock trial of the officials on live television and at the end of it, declared that no schoolgirls were missing, suggesting that the entire story was some hoax constructed to embarrass her husband.”
It said, “The response of the Federal Government, particularly President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan, to the abduction of over 200 students by Boko Haram from the Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, on the 14th of April, 2014, is disappointing.
“Even the President’s most ardent supporters readily agree that his prosecution of the insurgency war has been hesitant, feeble and half-hearted. The President hardly ever took action until he came under pressure to do so from people outside his government.“The approach of the President to the tragic abductions of the Chibok girls is not much different from his handling of the entire insurgency war that has engulfed the North, especially the North-East region since 2009.
“The mounting pressure from local and international communities is now compelling him to talk of deploying more troops to confront the Boko Haram insurgents. His belated acceptance of help from foreign powers had come only after the abduction of over 200 young girls, stirring worldwide outrage.”
On the extension of the state of emergency in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states, the northern body urged the National Assembly never to bow to pressure from the presidency to impose emergency rule on the states.
The body stressed, “We caution that the request before the National Assembly to approve the extension of the year-long state of emergency declared in the North-East states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, be considered against its impact so far, which can only be described as disastrous.
“Before the state of emergency was declared in the three states, between 2009 and 2012, the total causalities of the insurgency was less than 1,500. But this figure sky-rocketed to over 2,700 during the one year of the emergency, according to figures released by Amnesty International.
“During the emergency rule, Boko Haram had attacked and destroyed large swathe of areas in the North-East, including 18 towns and cities, not counting schools, mosques and churches.
“It is not clear to the public why the violence has been escalating since the imposition of the state of emergency on those three states. If we counsel against the continuation of the emergency rule, we are only being guided by our ugly experiences thus far,”the statement added.