ABUJA/Nigeria: The Peoples Democratic Party, on Sunday, slammed the Federal Government of Nigeria over the killing of lecturers and oil workers on their way to the Lake Chad Basin by the Boko Haram sect.
Report has it that no fewer than 48 people, including five lecturers of UNIMAID, about 15 soldiers, 11 members of the Civilian Joint Task Force and workers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation were killed on Thursday on their way to prospect for crude oil in Barno Yasu in the Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno State.
The Nigerian Army had, in a statement on Friday by its spokesman, Brig-Gen. Sani Usman, said it had rescued some of the workers, who were attacked by the sect.
However, shortly after the Army issued the statement, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said he was not aware of any rescue.
Reacting to the drama, the PDP called on the Federal Government to stop deceiving Nigerians with its claim that Boko Haram had been defeated.
The party said it was sad with the claim by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri, Prof. Ibrahim Njodi, that four of the university’s workers were still held by the sect members in their den.
The spokesperson for the National Caretaker Committee of the PDP, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, said Nigerians had known that the government was lying.
Adeyeye stated, “The celebration of the alleged defeat of Boko Haram was premature. There was no need for that celebration. It was based on false information and distortion of facts.
“Now, we have seen the result that Boko Haram was not defeated and that is why the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, ordered the Army chief to relocate to Maiduguri.
“This is a grand deception; you can see that.
“It has been a complete disaster. Of course, we can have challenges fighting Boko Haram, but they should not deceive Nigerians. That is very important.
“They (the government) went to start the oil exploration in order to deceive Nigerians and the international community that Boko Haram has been defeated. They will claim that after all, we are now there and exploring oil. It is all deceit.”
In his reaction, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, described the statement by the PDP over the incident in Borno State as unfortunate.
Abdullahi said, “What happened in Borno State was tragic. Our hearts go out to the families of those directly affected.
“Having said that, I think it is a tragedy that the opposition party is trying to use this unfortunate incident to play politics. It is mere evidence that the battle against Boko Haram is not yet over.
“How many times did the PDP announce that Shekau has been killed during the last administration? They killed Shekau almost four times, was that not propaganda? How many times did the PDP government announce that they entered into a ceasefire with Boko Haram, was that not propaganda?
“I don’t think that when a tragic situation like this happens, we should see it as a time to play politics.
“At times like this, we need to come together as one people to face it and deal with it. We must forget, before APC came to power, Boko Haram was occupying 50,000 square kilometres of the Nigerian territory; that is not the case today.”