ACN to PDP: Stop using religion to destabilize the South-west

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The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has warned the Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP) against continuing to
play the religious card in its desperate and ongoing attempt to
destabilize the South-west, saying the consequences
of such a misadventure will be too grave for the nation.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday by its National Publicity
Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said
the concocted accusations against Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola,
that he is trying to Islamize the state and
also engineer secession, are part of the PDP’s grand plan to use
religion as a destabilizing force in the South-west
in particular and the whole country in Nigeria.


It said the fact that the PDP desperadoes and their collaborators in
the security services could even try to link Governor
Aregbesola with Boko Haram is an indication of how low they are
willing to sink just to carry out their nefarious plot.

ACN also expressed surprise that in its desperation, the PDP ensured
that its collaborators in the security services –
in routing their imaginary security report – bypassed the normal
channel of communication on national security issues.

”The South-west as a region does not have a history of religious
intolerance as, in most families, adherents of the various
faith have co-existed peacefully through the ages. It is therefore
curious that a party that prides itself as pan-Nigeria will seek
to end the age-long religious tolerance in this region just for
political expediency,” ACN said.

The party said any keen observer of the way the PDP-controlled federal
government has handled the Boko Haram crisis will
not be too surprised that the party’s goons in the South-west, backed
by their clueless bosses at the federal level, are
resorting to religion in their inordinate quest to ‘recapture’ the
region they so mindlessly plundered in their first coming.

”The Boko Haram crisis has become the meal ticket for the PDP and its
chop-I-chop members, what with the huge chunk
(about a quarter of the 2012 budget) allocated to ‘combating’ it. It
is also the party’s trump card for maintaining a stranglehold
on the nation, hence its flame must be kept aglow at all costs – human
or material.

”It is also common knowledge that President Goodluck Jonathan of the
PDP has frittered away the goodwill that followed him
into office, through a succession of poorly-thought-out policies. With
his eyes firmly set on another mandate even when he
has not justified the current one, he and his party believe that his
surest ticket to another mandate is to keep the flame of Boko
Haram burning, and continue misinforming the international community
that the crisis is rooted in religion, rather than in years of
irresponsible governance, the type of which the PDP has foisted on
Nigeria since 1999.

”That is why the PDP federal government has paid only a lip service
to all efforts to find a lasting solution to the Boko Haram crisis.
It was the government’s insincerity (the mediators said so and the
government did not deny) that led to the collapse of the most
recent attempt to resolve the crisis. In the post-911 world, the best
way to attract sympathy from the international community is to
put the terrorism badge on any acts of brigandage or social disorder
and then link it with religion.

”However, the game is up for the PDP, and the party will know this if
it bothers to read between the lines the recent apt characterization
of the Boko Haram crisis by the Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African
Affairs at the US State Department, Mr Johnnie Carson,” ACN
said.

The party therefore warned: ”PDP should stop exploiting religion for
whatever purpose. It should stop encouraging those who are bent on
exploiting it to destabilize our country. And as Mr. Carson rightly
advised, let us make it impossible for Boko Haram or any group
whatsoever to ‘capitalize on popular frustration with leaders, poor
government service delivery and the dismal living conditions’ of many
of our citizens. The only way to do this is good governance, not scare
mongering. We hope the PDP is listening.”

Alhaji Lai Mohammed
National Publicity Secretary
Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)
Lagos, 16April2012

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