Abducted school girls: APC calls Chikwe’s comments absurd, insensitive

KEMA-CHIKWE
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it is stupefied by the
comments credited to PDP National Women Leader Kema Chikwe in which
she expressed doubts about the abduction of over 200 school girls from
Chibok in Borno State, saying by the comments, Mrs Chikwe has simply
crossed the line and plumbed the depths of absurdity and
insensitivity.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its Interim National
Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party expressed concern
that such an incautious and insensitive statement could be made by a
woman, a mother, a grandmother and a top official of the ruling PDP
over an issue that is undoubtedly the worst tragedy and biggest
embarrassment to Nigeria.

It said the comments raise even more concern because of the position
in the ruling party of Mrs. Chikwe, wondering if her irresponsible
statement represented the closet opinion of the ruling party or the
unstated stand of the presidency – in which case it will explain the
FG’s dawdling approach to the rescue of the girls.

”It has been said that politics should not be brought into issues of
national security. But how can anyone keep quiet in the face of this
glaring assault on the sensitivity of a whole nation by a supposed
leader of the ruling party? Who indeed is attempting to politicize a
national tragedy, undoubtedly the worst in the history of our nation,
if not the PDP?

”Does this explain why the President and Commander-in-Chief of the
Armed Forces has not deemed it fit to make a national broadcast to
assure a dumbstruck nation that he is indeed in charge, to give hope
to the shell-shocked parents of the girls and to inspire the military,
three weeks after this unprecedented national tragedy? Is this why the
President and Commander-in-Chief has yet to visit Chibok?

”If security concerns are responsible for the President’s failure to
visit Chibok, how is it possible for Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno to
have visited the school, even in defiance of intelligent reports? If
the military cannot make Chibok safe for its Commander-in-Chief to
visit, who in that town is safe? We submit that no part of this
country should be out of bounds to the President and
Commander-in-Chief. No where in which our military men and women are
deployed should be out of bounds to our President and
Commander-in-Chief,” APC said.

The party said it is outrageous and unconscionable that anyone, least
of all a woman, mother, grandmother and a top ranking ruling party
official would attempt to trivialize the pains of losing one’s
daughters to unstable, primitive and blood-thirsty hoodlums, even when
photographic and other evidences abound of the efforts being made by
the parents to personally rescue their children.

It wondered whether the hapless parents who have, despite the risks to
their own lives, taken to the Sambisa Forest in search of their
children could have gone there on a picnic, if anyone would still be
raising doubts that their children were indeed abducted.

”A fringe group first mooted this idea of the abduction not being
real and was ignored. But now that it has been raised to the level of
a party’s stand, it is time for all Nigerians to speak out and condemn
this absurdity. Is Chikwe saying that the military that has been
working round the clock to rescue the girls is only play acting? Is
she also saying that the President who called an expanded National
Security Council meeting on the issue is only horsing around? Enough
of this absurdity.

”We urged our patriotic soldiers and indeed all concerned to ensure
that these innocent girls are returned home safely to their parents.
We commend all the groups that have staged public protests to force
the authorities to act faster on this issue for their efforts. We say
all hands must be on deck to end this national nightmare as soon as
possible,” APC said.