Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:45 pm
Nigeria’s Federal Government on Wednesday tongue-lashed Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State for what was deemed, his ‘irresponsible statements’, saying it was an attempt to instigate citizens against government over ongoing fight against terror groups in the country.
Simultaneously, the same government praised a statement by one of the national leaders of the All Progressives Congress, Muhammadu Buhari, that urged unity in the fight against terrorism.
Briefing State House correspondents in Abuja after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, said the nation was in need of unity not divisive tendencies. It was the second time in less than a week that Nyako would come under the verbal assault of the Jonathan presidency, after he accused Jonathan’s government of encouraging genocide in the North east of Nigeria.
Maku said a recent comment by Governor Murtala Nyako on the security challenges facing the country, should not have come from a retired military officer and a serving state governor, who was aware of the implications of such on the nation’s security.
“Each time the security people strike a target, there is a lot of public uproar and propaganda which is weakening our national resolve to fight terror.
“This nation deserves security at this time even in the heat of it, you hear some irresponsible comment coming from highly placed people including a governor.
“Now, this nation is in need of unity but we are playing to the gallery by making irresponsible statements. We are making statements that will divide the country, statement that is setting the citizen against security services and government.
“If only Nigerians understand that as we seat in this hall, our security people are out there in the bush day and night and getting killed in the course of maintaining the security of this country.
“But what we see is that people who have little knowledge on how security services are rendered will just open their mouth and make statements that create panic in the country and this is very unfortunate.
“To hear the kind of things being said by the Governor of Adamawa state at this period is very unfortunate.
Nyako was the former Chief of Naval Staff. He has worn uniform before, to publicly incite the people against the security forces of this country is the height of irresponsibility.’’
He said when people reached a certain age, they should watch their utterances and the kind of things they are supposed to say.
Maku, however, reassured that the nation would definitely defeat terror and urged the citizens to always be security conscious and maintain vigilance around their localities.
“One thing we must not allow is to create lack of morale to the security services because we don’t have alternative today to those services.
“And I know that our security services are one of the best services on this continent with a lot of commitment and discipline’’, he said.
Nyako, a former PDP governor now belongs to the opposition APC.
Dr. Reuben Abati, President Jonathan’s adviser on media and publicity however conveyed President Jonathan’s commendation to former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s call for national unity against terrorism in the country.
Abati said that the President applauded Buhari’s views as expressed in his article which was published by the media over the past two days.
He added that “President Goodluck Jonathan believes that the position taken by Gen. Buhari is that of a true patriot, respected former Head of State, revered elder statesman and nationalist.
“The President welcomes Gen. Buhari’s call on all Nigerians to remain steadfast and work in unity to overcome terrorists and other merchants of death, who currently threaten national security.
“President Jonathan fully shares Gen. Buhari’s view that a minority must never be allowed to `bring the nation to its knees through terror.’’
Abati said that the President welcomed Buhari’s recommendation that the nation’s counter-terrorism strategies be further fine-tuned. He added that the President also welcomed Buhari’s offer of support and co-operation in dealing with the challenge of terrorism.