Daily Trust (Abuja)

12 May 2014

Nigeria: Chibok Girls - Presidency Hits Back At APC

Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati said last night the Federal Government is on top of the situation over the abduction of the schoolgirls of Chibok, Borno State. Abati was reacting to a statement by the All Progressives Congress (APC) chairman Bisi Akande, which described Nigeria as being on an auto pilot.

"Nigeria is not on auto pilot. There is a government in place, there is a president who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. He is doing his very best to provide quality leadership and to reassure Nigerians that government stands ready always to defend their best interest," he said.

Abati said the issue of national security should go beyond partisan politics.

"This is a very serious moment requiring seriousness. But to reduce all of that to partisan politics is in bad taste, irresponsible one-upmanship," he said.

"Chief Akande has made a number of recommendations. This administration welcomes suggestions and recommendations. If he had limited his contributions to just making these recommendations, he would have sounded like a statesman. But let him be informed that even those recommendations that he has made are things that are already in place.

"These are steps that had already been taken by this administration. So, there is nothing original in his recommendations that is unknown to the administration.

"But he went beyond making recommendations to begin to engage in politics. We'll like to advise people like him that where national interest is involved, we should come together and work hand-in-hand with the government."

Meanwhile, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Students, Comrade Jude Imagwe, has called on Nigerians to rally round the security forces to rescue the Chibok girls.

Imagwe made the call while delivering a keynote address at a public lecture organized by the movement at Kini Country Home, Akwanga, Nasarawa state.

He said the president's achievement in the last three years was enough to give him support for re-election. "The future of this country lies on the shoulder of young people," he said.

"No individual can win the fight against terrorism, but terrorists cannot succeed when the people are united to fight it. Let Nigerians stand up to protect the president and defend the country," Imagwe said.

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