By Kennedy Dimaku, Abuja:
The ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP and the opposition , All Progressive Congress have been pointing accusing fingers on each other for politicizing the abduction of over 200 schools girls from Chibok, a suburb of Maiduguri for about two months ago.
PDP is of the view that APC sponsored the ” Bring Back Our Girls” campaign, headed by a former minister of education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, with the intention to pull down the government of President Goodluck Joanthan.
The APC on the other hand alluded that PDP is the one politicizing the Chibok Grirls’ abduction citing a counter protest group in the name of “Release Our Girls”, as a calculated attempt to destabilize people who had a genuine course to sympathize with the victims of Chibok Girls abduction as well as putting the Federal Government on its toes to enable it rise to the occasion of tackling the insurgency bedeviling the country.
Oby Ezekwesili led “Bring Back Our Girls” group has vowed not to vacant Unity Fountain , venue of the group’s protest ground , until the girls are released, a situation that has become worrisome to Nigerians as people alleged that he was paid to do so.
Taking swipe at the opposition party on the development, Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku call on Nigerian to detest people who want to run the government down. He said “If you go back to the “Bring back our girls” campaign, 90% of those organizing it belong to a political party. Has the media ever analyzed this? And yet, the insurgency is operating only in states controlled by that party. The entire money we are spending is to maintain security in the states operated by that party, so why go out and start playing politics? We are busy spending money to maintain security in those states, what have they done about it? Because 90% of all the insurgency is in those states, what have they done about t? because 90% of all the insurgency is in those states controlled by that political party, 90% of those campaigning to bring back the girls are members of that party. But the media would look the other way. I think if we want this country to grow, we must ask the relevant questions.”
In reaction, the Interim Publicity Secretary, APC, Lai Mohammed PDP is the one politicizing the issue. Speaking exclusively to Nigerian News Direct he said, “If anybody is politicizing the “Bring Back our Girls” campaign, it should be PDP. If anybody is politicizing it, it is the Federal government. The Federal Government is the one that is sponsoring another group to destabilize the people that have a genuine course. Check the people behind the campaign to bring back out girls, take for instance, is Michelle Obama in APC, Is Hillary Clinton APC, You see, the issue is that they are drowning, their corruption and incompetency is catching up on them and they do not know what they are saying now. How can anybody say that those innocent girls are APC, the mothers of the children that are adopted, are they also APC? are people all over the world, in Australia, in Ghana, in China are all APC?. “He queried
A child rights activist, Mrs. Margaret Udoh, Coordinator, National Council for Child Rights Advocates of Nigeria (NACCRAN) FCT Chapter and Founder , Youths Reformation and Awareness Center (YRAC), Abuja, viewed the insurgency pervading the country today also as a Child Rights issue. According to her, the purpose of adopting, ratifying, implementing and domesticating the Child Rights Act is to encourage all stakeholders of children to deal with them for their interest. It also harmonizes the cultural, religious, educational, health and every other decision concerning children, to be in line with the act.
Udoh who is also a member of Economic, social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) Parliament of African Union noted that the demonstration of “Bring Back our Girls” and “Release Our Girls” campaigns are more of activities than result, pointing out that it is normal for people to show concern and solidarity actions of such nature. The demonstrations illustrate call for help, solidarity and justice from concerned and right people, organizations and governments, particularly greater powers like America and the likes.
According to her, “these demonstrations have become enduring activities that yield no positive result because the girls have been missing for over forty days.” She suggested that the demonstrations should change to actions that should yield results, adding that the more the children are still missing, the more they are exposed to more danger.
She opined that there is a systemic failure which must be revamped to address the prevailing issue. For instance she said there should be serious lobbying of the adoption and ratification of Child Rights Act in the states of the federation that are yet to join others in the journey. She said this would make things to be done in the best interest of the child. She posisted, “The purpose of the convention is to harmonize and eliminate every form of abuse and harmful practices meted on the child, whether social, cultural, religious, or otherwise. Issues in child rights Acts include but not limited to proper parenting, access to basic education, access to basic health, developing the talent of the child through informal and formal education, etc.
“A child who is denied the right to education and basic parental love will grow up to be a bomber and abuser of all forms as an adult. If they were given the proper education and training, they would not have engaged in this nuisance and dastardly act. If the people that are involved in throwing bombs were brought up to be useful to themselves and other citizens, they would not be doing what they are doing today.”
She described the clash of two groups campaigning for the release of the abducted school girls as politicizing the incident. “They are politicizing our children and acting for their own selfish purpose. If they have a common purpose, they would not clash. It also shows some personal undertone; it is not in the best interest of the children.” She pointed out.
Chairman Nigerian Pilot Newspaper, Mr Dennis Sami berated the media on the role and bad publicity they give to the insurgence which capable of dintiing the image of the nation. He said. “Some media are said to be in opposition as it is in Nigerian Politics. Everything negative that would embarrass the present government, is what they jump on. Anything that will give additional edge to the perceived support to certain opposition of the Jonathan administration is welcome by their own publishers. They are dancing the tone of their pay masters and that is the truth of what is going on here in Nigeria. If you look at the negative stories and those that write such stories are meant to bring the president and the nation to the ground and please their paymasters
He advice the media to exhibit professionalism in their reportage. “It is unfortunate because I do not think it is the fault of President Goodluck Jonathan that we are undergoing the situation. Boko Haram started before he took over. And I am expecting that the media should trade courteously more especially now that the issue is getting global attention. It should not be a politicians issue or Jonathan’s. They should strike a balance so that at the end of the day we should be happy doing service to our country. Like in America, anything that will affect the national interest, they will not accept it.”