The All Progressives Congress (APC) demanded yesterday a probe of the botched suicide attempt on a former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.
To the APC, there seems to be more to the suicide mission than meets the eye. There must be a “believable and credible enquiry”, it said.
APC Chairman Chief John Odigie-Oyegun made the demand in a statement and during an interaction with reporters after a visit by the party’s National Executive Committee to the Catholic Bishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan.
He said: “The APC condemns in strongest terms the abominable spate of bomb blast and almost obvious attempt to take the life of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, (rtd). We understand that the unassuming, peaceful and humble General was on his way to his village, Daura, when a vehicle trailed him.
“We are grateful to God that Gen. Buhari’s life was spared. Three of his aides were, however, injured in the incident and have been discharged after treatment.
“We urgently appeal to his supporters nationwide to please remain calm in the face of what seems obvious provocation but strongly urge Mr. President to speedily set up a high-powered probe to unravel those behind the suspicious bomb blast.
“This incident must not be treated as one of the usual Boko Haram atrocities as there seems to be more to it than meets the eye.”
The party expressed “heartfelt condolences to those who lost their lives in the first bomb blast which claimed scores of lives in Kaduna”.
It said: “We join their families in praying to Almighty God for the repose of the souls of the dead and speedy recovery of the injured.
“We want to reiterate, once again, that because of the innocent lives being lost on daily basis, we committed our great part to full cooperation with the Jonathan administration in seeking solutions to the insurgency.
“But Jonathan is more intent on politicising the issue to the extent of hiring propagandists from as far away as Russia and United States.”
The APC, for the umpteenth time urged President Goodluck Jonathan to take the protection of Nigerian lives more seriously and to prudently utilise the “huge” amounts budgeted for security to upgrade our security infrastructure.
“In addition his administration should fully cooperate with the international community in order to crush the Boko Haram insurgency.”
Responding to questions from reporters after meeting with Cardinal Onaiyekan, the APC National Chairman said: “What is critical at this time is that we have made a passionate appeal to all the supporters of Buhari to please maintain the peace and not allow this provocation make them do things to the benefit of enemies of this nation.
“Secondly, particularly to you members of the press, you have noticed recently the tendency of the PDP to want to say that the APC is sponsoring Boko Haram. They have hired people as far away as Russia. Russians have become security experts who can tell what is happening in Nigeria. Americans have become security experts who can pronounce who is supporting Boko Haram in Nigeria. At least, one member of the British Parliament has also been told to call for an enquiry into this.
“But yesterday because of the desperation of the ruling party, an attempt was made on one of the key leaders or goal-getters of the APC and it ought to have been clear to all concerned by now that the major states principally affected are APC states.
“Does somebody set fire on his own house to prove any point? Won’t that be the height of stupidity? And now, the leader of our party is targeted and yet they are still blaming us, telling the world, telling the nation that the APC is a supporter and financier of Boko Haram. Gentlemen, Nigerians are not idiots. Whoever is doing that thinks Nigerians have taken leave of their reasoning ability.
“It is clear that you do not prove bravery by stabbing yourself. So, the APC cannot prove that it does not like Jonathan by setting APC states on fire. Does that make any sense? So I don’t want to say whose hand is in this pie, whatever the apologists think, let them work. They are the ones who control the security forces.
“They have spent over $20 billion in the last few years for supposedly providing infrastructure for the security forces. Yet, today, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever. We are on top of the struggle against Boko Haram. So whose finger is in this pie? I think it is fairly obvious.
“Well, we have called for an investigation, that is clear. Two things we did – we appealed to his teeming followers and followers of the APC to please maintain the peace. And for peace to reign, we also called on the government of President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately institute a believable and credible enquiry to unearth what is in fact going on. Why do they want to target Gen. Buhari? And indeed, why Boko Haram?”
Asked if APC believes that the incident was an assassination attempt on Gen. Buhari, said: “We have no doubt in our mind and we thank God. Bini people say if you are not evil, you won’t die an evil death. Gen. Buhari is one of the most upright human beings we have in this country and God, the Allah he serves has not destined an evil death for him, no matter the machinations of people in government today who seem to have taken all leave of rational thought.
“If they can hire propagandists, cheap Russians, cheap Americans to say that APC is not beyond Boko Haram, has there been an investigation? If a child dies in the morning after the witch flies over at night, isn’t there a connection? Or are they going to tell us that they don’t know what is happening in this country? We are not government; we have the right to think what we think because government is not delivering on its path of the bargain. They are in charge of security and protecting our lives.
Asked of the connection between the peace which APC is suing for and the allegation of assassination attempt on Gen. Buhari’s life by some forces, Odigie-Oyegun said the link was obvious.
He added: “No, I think it is really straightforward. Maintain peace doesn’t mean you do not know what is going on. What they wanted to provoke, we are telling our members not to fall for these dastardly temptation because if our 10 million supporters, particularly in this part of the country go to town in anger, then this nation will be in trouble. So the connection is very clear.”
Some of those on the entourage of the APC delegation were the Deputy National Chairman, Senator Lawal Shuaib, Senator Chris Ngige, National Treasurer, Alhaji Mohammed Bala, Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Timi Frank, and others.