Leadership (Abuja)

7 May 2014

Nigeria: Abducted Girls - First Lady's Intervention Distracting, Counter-Productive - APC

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has decribed the melodramatic intervention of the first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, in the abduction of over 200 school girls as distracting, counter-productive and calibrated to scapegoat others with the sole intention of exculpating her husband rather than finding the girls.

"Make no mistake about it, there is nothing wrong in the First Lady, as a woman and the mother of the nation, playing a role in resolving the unfortunate abduction of the girls, but that role must be within the realms of social activism, not in policy making or conduct of state affairs," the party said in a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its interim national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

It warned that the melodrama, highlighted by the shedding of "made-for-television crocodile tears, cannot and will not bring the girls back safely to their parents".

"What will bring them back is a purposeful and sustained effort by the federal government, which has hitherto been tentative and lethargic. Therefore, enough of the distracting, absurd and overbearing show that the first lady has put up in the past few days," APC said.

The party advised the first lady to stop grandstanding and to get real by leading a protest of other first ladies from all the 36 states of the federation from the Eagle Square to Aso Rock to pressure her husband, President Goodluck Jonathan, on whose laps falls the responsibility of leading the nation to find the girls, to act fast.

It also urged the first lady to stop apportioning blames at this time so that all efforts can be geared towards finding the girls.

"Our dear first lady needs to be told clearly that her husband, the president, is the nation's chief security officer. Our dear first lady needs to be informed that because Borno State, where the unfortunate abduction took place, is under a state of emergency, her husband, the president, has automatically assumed all security powers."

It is therefore wrong for our dear first lady to be threatening to march on Borno to ask the governor to produce the girls. That march should be to Aso Rock instead," APC said.

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