(Vanguard) THE leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, must have celebrated when a suicide bomber blew himself up and killed 47 students at the assembly ground of the Government Senior Science Secondary School in Potiskum, Yobe State, on Monday, November 10, 2014.
Lai Mohammed, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, must have been dizzy with joy on receiving news of the catastrophe for the single reason that it was a gift — never mind that it was a diabolical one from the pit of hell — with which he could accuse President Goodluck Jonathan of insensitivity and callousness when the latter formally declared his intention to seek re-election the next day.
Undeterred, Jonathan went ahead with his declaration. Expectedly, Lai Mohammed wasted no time in screaming “utterly insensitive and absolutely callous.” It is a wonder that this devotee of the Nazi propagandist, Josef Goebbels, could not find more adjectives with which to ostensibly criticise the President while, in actual fact, he was celebrating the unfortunate death of the Potiskum students. Lai Mohammed even accused Jonathan of “dancing on the graves of the students”, but not once did he condemn the terrorists behind the suicide bomb attack.
In the past, the APC has been accused of either funding or at least supporting the nefarious Boko Haram group that has been waging an insurgency against the Nigerian state in order to establish an Islamic caliphate in its stead. Some of us publicly averred that such accusations were a case of dirty politics taken too far. How, we asked, could the APC be in cahoots with those who seek to destroy the Nigerian state? If the insurgents were to succeed, of what benefit would that be to the APC or its members? Regrettably, one has been forced to have a rethink today.
To be clear, the resurgent state of bomb blasts that culminated in the Potiskum attack is just too much for even the most naive Nigerian to accept as mere coincidence. In recent times, APC presidential aspirants, ranging from former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, through former military dictator General Muhammadu Buhari, to Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso and publisher-turned-politician Sam Nda-Isaiah, have all held events to declare their intention to vie for the presidency. No bomb blasts were recorded. But as soon as Jonathan announced the date of his formal declaration, the bombs started going off. Fellow Nigerians, who is fooling whom?
We can run from pillar to post, or we can face up to what is self-evident to every discerning Nigerian: there is a clear connection between terrorist attacks whenever the President is scheduled to hold or attend a political event and the readiness of the APC propaganda machine to issue exploitative statements that condemn the President, but never the terrorists. It is now beyond any reasonable doubt that the APC is sympathetic to, if not in support outright of Boko Haram. Indeed, it appears Lai Mohammed even prepares the statement ahead of any terrorist attack and then releases it soon after.
Interestingly, nobody should forget that when former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, left the APC and rejoined the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he had some remarkable revelations to share about his erstwhile APC colleagues. In one statement, Fani-Kayode told Nigerians: “The APC in the North is the political wing of Boko Haram in the northern part of Nigeria. This, I have said before and no one amongst them was bold enough to challenge me. I will continue to say it again and again. The northern elements in the APC have to explain to all Nigerians why some of their leaders in the North support, encourage and defend Boko Haram members.”
Fani-Kayode went on to add: “No member of the APC has been bold enough to controvert what I said about their relationship with the Boko Haram members in the North. I stand to be challenged if any of them has a contrary view.”
Moreover, it is a matter of public record that Lai Mohammed not only opposed the United States of America classifying Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation, more importantly, he also actively protested the proscription of Boko Haram by the Federal Government of Nigeria in June 2013. In view of how much pleasure he takes in glorifying the dastardly acts of the despicable terrorist group, the reason for Lai Mohammed’s protestations is crystal clear.
Now, if an ordinary Nigerian like this writer can so easily deduce that some senior members of the APC are Boko Haram supporters and sympathisers, the question then arises: Why has the government not arrested them and prosecuted them according to the law? Could it be that the government of President Jonathan does not want to be accused of stifling the opposition, especially in the run-up to a general election?
Whatever the case may be, the facts are plain for Nigerians to see. Lai Mohammed and his APC colleagues are always prepared with exploitative propaganda condemning President Jonathan whenever terrorists strike.
However, they typically never condemn the terrorists. This reveals clearly who is dancing on the graves of slain Nigerians. Despite their well-crafted propaganda designs, Nigerians have a duty to their nation to reject Boko Haram, their funders, supporters and sympathizers at the 2015 polls.