Premium Times (Abuja)

28 May 2014

Nigeria: Chibok Schoolgirls - Nigerian Government Accuses APC Governors of Failure, Inciting Protest

The failure of governance in three states controlled by the All Progressives Congress, APC, cost Nigeria billions of Naira and yet the opposition party is still instigating anti-government protests, the federal government has said.

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, stated this on Wednesday while briefing journalists after the weekly meeting of the Executive Council of the Federation.

Responding to questions from journalists, Mr. Maku said the federal government was spending a huge chunk of the nation's income in maintaining security in the three APC controlled states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe.

The three states, most affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, have been under emergency rule since May 2013.

Mr. Maku said despite the huge security spending by the federal government on those states, the majority of protesters accusing the government of not doing enough on security were APC members.

"Today, the federal government is spending huge chunk of its resources in maintaining security especially in the north east; yet they (APC members) constitute over 90 per cent of those protesting against the federal government.

"Look at the entire money we are spending is to maintain security in states controlled by the APC . So why do you come back and start playing politics?

"We are busy spending money to maintain security in those states, what have they done about it? Because 90 per cent of all insurgency is in states controlled by that party."

The minister then spoke specifically about nationwide protests to demand the release of over 250 school girls kidnapped on April 14 in Chibok, Borno State, by the Boko Haram.

"Ninety per cent of those campaigning to bring back Chibok girls are also members of that same party (APC)," he said.

He also chided a section of the media for "looking the other way" and supporting the perpetrators of the insurgency.

"But the media look the other way. No, I think that honestly if we want this country to grow we must ask the relevant questions. The Chibok girls remain our number one priority, we will never sleep, we will not rest until God brings them out.

"We are the fire fighters, the federal government is a fire fighter. We did not create this insurgency or the structure that led to them, you know where they came from but you are now blaming the fire fighter for the fire," Mr. Maku said.

The federal government has been criticised for its handling of the Chibok kidnapped girls and insurgency in general.

It took President Jonathan about three weeks to address Nigerians on the kidnap, while he is yet to visit the community or parents of the teenage girls over 6 weeks after the kidnap.

The Boko Haram has killed over 12,000 people since its insurgency began in 2009 with about 2000 killed in 2014 alone.

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