…alleges group commissioned one million T-Shirts for campaign
The Presidency, yesterday, taunted the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other critics of the government over their reactions to the abduction and subsequent rescue of 344 boys from the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State.
It accused the PDP and its allies of being unpatriotic by seeking to politicise the Kankara episode instead of encouraging the government and the security forces to pursue the rescue mission for the boys to be returned and reunited with their families. National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, had, on Thursday,
led other members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to join a group of Nigerian women who were protesting the abduction of the school boys and demanding the rescue.
The women stormed the streets brandishing placards with various inscriptions such as: “Buhari has failed!” “Buhari, bring back our boys!” “Buhari values his cows more than human lives!” among others.
They also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign for failure to secure the nation. The PDP NWC members, who were in a meeting when the women visited the national secretariat of the party, broke off from their meeting to join the protest. Secondus, who later addressed the protesters, said the security situation in the country had become too dangerous for silence.
“…All we are saying is that Buhari ‘bring back our boys’ from Katsina,” he said. Responding to this intervention by the PDP and several others, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, accused the opposition of seeking to score cheap political points with the protest.
He alleged that a group, which he did not name, had already commissioned the production of a million pieces of branded T-shirts to launch the #BringBack- OurBoys campaign.
Shehu said that in decent parts of the world where empathy overrides cheap politics, every Nigerian ought to have been praying for the safe return of the abducted boys while they were in captivity and applaud the security forces when they were eventually set free by the bandits.
He lamented that the situation has been different in Nigeria. “There will always be profiteers from other people’s misfortune.
The lack of patriotism shown by few unnecessary elements in a moment of national distress was crass, shameful and despicable. If they are not directly affected by a tragedy or no immediate family member involved, it is fair game for them and time to gloat or even make a few fast bucks.
“Indeed, emergency activists thought they could cash in on these schoolboys and their parents’ misfortune devoid of their conscience.
While patriotic Nigerians prayed for the boys’ quick return, these merchants of fortune were renting crowds, creating certain suspicious hashtags, opening bank accounts for the sole aim of soliciting funds for a cause they thought would linger.
“What will they do now with the one million T-Shirts they have produced? This is hugely shameful. These scavengers should now be honourable enough to refund the monies they have so far collected for the now futile campaign to discredit their fatherland,” he said. According to him, the successful rescue of the boys last Friday elicited an outpouring of sighs, cries of relief and joy even beyond their immediate families of the school boys.
“As the news spread far and wide, the global community is cheering the boys’ reunion with their families. This moment is a watershed for Nigeria. It holds out hope that Nigerian citizens can feel safe wherever they are. “It is precisely as President Buhari described it: ‘A big relief to their families, the entire country and international community.’ We are glad that the UN Secretary General, Antonio Gutteres, just sent a thank you message, appreciating what Nigeria has achieved,” he said.
The current administration, Shehu said, has demonstrated unquestionable capacity and the will to protect Nigerians, adding that those who doubt the government’s resolve were being mischievous.