President Goodluck Jonathan has fixed Wednesday 23 April for the enlarged meeting between him and Nigeria’s 36 state governors to deliberate on the worsening insecurity dogging the land.
Jonathan had met governors of his Peoples Democratic Party last Thursday along, with the two governors of allied parties, Labour Party and the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, raising eyebrows on why he excluded the 16 governors in the opposition All Progressives Congress.
The Thursday meeting, to which the APC governors were not invited, was also seized upon, curiously by the PDP as a sign that the APC governors were the sponsors of terrorism, a claim that was debunked by Governor Godswill Akpabio, of Akwa Ibom state, who clarified that the APC governors were not invited in the first place.
The rescheduled meeting has made the APC to postpone its State Congresses scheduled for Wednesday, April 23rd, to allow State Governors under the aegis of the party to attend the rescheduled expanded National Security Council meeting, fixed for that day to discuss the security situation in the country.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the postponement (to Saturday, April 26th) is a confirmation of the party’s stated stand to be part of all genuine efforts to end the insurgency in the country, and its strong belief that bipartisanship must replace the crass partisanship of the presidency and the ruling party if the security crisis is to be overcome.
APC reiterated its earlier warning to the presidency and the PDP not to politicize Nigeria’s security and to desist from seeking to profit from the current state of widespread insecurity in the country.
”Cunningly edging out the APC Governors from Thursday’s meeting of the expanded National Security Council is a bad strategy because, despite belonging to the opposition, our Governors are not any less of stakeholders on the issue of our nation’s security than Governors of the PDP or its satellite parties.
”As a matter of fact, three of the states worst hit by the ongoing insurgency are being presided over by APC Governors, hence they are indispensable to any serious effort aimed at ending the security conundrum,” the party said.
It wondered what the Governors of the PDP, Labour Party and APGA could have discussed with the President at Thursday’s surreptitious meeting that they did not want APC Governors to know about.
”Every trick in the book was employed to give APC Governors the impression that the meeting had been called off, only for those who believe they are the ‘real stakeholders’ to go ahead with the meeting, and then attempt to deceive Nigerians into believing that APC Governors shunned the meeting. Unfortunately for the deceivers, truth – as always – has prevailed and they have fallen on their own swords,” APC said.
Twin bomb blasts at the Nyanya Bus Terminus in Nyanya, Abuja last week, killing 75 people and injuring 145 others and the kidnapping of 129 school girls by Boko Haram gunmen in Chibok, Borno state, same day, have increased anxiety about the state of insecurity in Nigeria.