The All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to visit Yobe State to commiserate with the bereaved families of the schoolchildren murdered by terrorists last month.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it was inconceivable that about two weeks after the killings of more than 29 schoolchildren, the President has visited the state.
It said such a visit would provide great succour to the families of the victims and reassure them that their government has not abandoned them.
The statement reads: “There is no other democracy in the world in which that number of schoolchildren will be killed and the head of government will carry on with business as usual. Since the killings, President Jonathan has made a national broadcast in which he mentioned the killings only as a footnote, instead of making it the central point of the broadcast.
“Since the killings, the President has presided over a wasteful national celebration, in which the drums were rolled out to mark the country’s centenary even as devastated families were still mourning and those injured were reeling from their pains.
“Since the killings, President Jonathan has been gallivanting across the country, surreptitiously kick-starting his electioneering campaign for 2015 under the guise of receiving some inconsequential political jobbers now wearing the tag of defectors. This junketing has taken the President everywhere, including Sokoto, Minna, Ilorin and Onitsha. But he has pointedly avoided Yobe. To put it mildly, the father of the nation has been practically dancing on the graves of those innocent souls. This is not the stuff of leadership and the President must make amends by visiting Yobe today.’’
The party said Jonathan should take a cue to what obtains in other lands, especially in the US after which Nigeria has modelled its democracy.
“In January 2014, US President Barack Obama flew to Tennessee, where he spoke at a high school where students were still reeling from the shooting death of just one of their classmates; In 2012, President Obama paid a similar visit to Newtown in Connecticut, where he met relatives of the 20 schoolchildren and 8 adults who were shot. These are examples worthy of emulation by President Jonathan,’’ it said.
The APC challenged the President to tell Nigerians why he has not or why he would not visit the scene of the gruesome murders.
“Whatever his reasons are, the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces must not give the impression that there is any part of the country he cannot visit for any reason whatsoever, otherwise he would only have succeeded in handing some sort of victory to the terrorists who have continued to kill and plunder in the Northeast,’’ it said.