The APC Interim National Executive Committee held its 9th meeting today, Tuesday, March 18th 2014.
The meeting was attended by members of the party’s Interim National leadership led by Chief Bisi Akande, Governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State. National leaders of the party where also present in the person of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, General Mohammed Buhari, Senator Alli Modu Sheriif, Chief Ogbonnoya Onu, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Chief Olusegun Osoba, Senator Saraki, Senator Goje and other members of National Interim Executive of the party.
1.Following its deliberations, the National Executive Committee of the APC commiserated with the families of the people who died on Saturday, March 15th, 2014 at several venues of the job test by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS). We also extend our sympathy and prayers to those who were injured in the stampede, and wish them a speedy recovery.
The needless deaths of our youth, which resulted from a combination of exploitation, corruption, greed and incompetence of the relevant authorities, represent a needless violation of their right to life and dignity. Out of sheer greed, 1,000 Naira each was collected from the over 770,000 unemployed applicants shortlisted. The Jonathan led PDP government therefore fleeced unemployed youth and their parents of Seven hundred and seventy six million naira (N770 million naira) using a consultant as conduit. Even then, the available vacancies of about 4,500 have already been filled through the back door by over 3,000 candidates of PDP Apparatchik and government officials.
The pervasive corruption and incompetence that have become the hallmarks of the Jonathan Administration paved the way for this unprecedented greed in which hapless job seekers were extorted by the same government that has failed to provide jobs for them. Yet, this government has no social security or any form of safety net for the vulnerable army of the unemployed. It should be made clear that this government encourages and baby sits corruption stealing not only from the Pension fund of Nigerian citizens, but also from the unemployed and from our collective patrimony, the NNPC.
That is why we are calling for a criminal investigation to unravel the circumstances that led to the deaths of those innocent Nigerians, to find out who authorized the fleecing of job seekers by a government agency, what happened to the money realized from the heist and why the relevant officials did not ensure a better arrangement that could have saved precious lives.
The job stampede deaths constitute the latest in a series of events that have turned Nigeria into a massive killing field in recent times. The orgy of killings in the past few weeks have left hundreds dead and many more maimed in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Kaduna, Katsina and Plateau, just to mention a few. Never in the peace time history of our dear country has there been such a high number of needless deaths.
2.Amid all of this, the PDP-led Federal Government has been carrying on as if all is well. After presiding over a wasteful centenary celebration, President Goodluck Jonathan has been gallivanting around the country, addressing political rallies when he should be commiserating with families of the dead in the affected states, especially Yobe where innocent children were massacred by a cowardly band of terrorists, and Katsina which he visited a few hours after hundreds of people were killed.
3. Also, it has come to our notice that, in pursuant of the Presidency’s stance to label anyone who offers it any advice on how to curtail the terrorists attack and boost the morale of our gallant troops, the imposition of a total state of emergency is being considered for Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, which is a smokescreen to remove the democratically-elected Governors of these APC states. We condemn this move unequivocally and urge the President to jettison the idea, if indeed it is being remotely contemplated, because it will not advance the cause of peace in the affected states.
Against the background of the daily orgy of killings, we are compelled to say that the Jonathan Administration has lost total control of events in the country, with the result that Nigerians are now being left to their own devices. It is clear that the situation in our country today, whether it is in the area of security, job creation, fight against corruption or even growing of the economy, is far beyond the capacity of those at the helm.
4.We also note as a party, the ferocious attacks and blackmail mounted against Lamido Sanusi, the Governor of Central Bank. How someone who publicly disclosed the brazen theft of $20 billion dollars from NNPC become a candidate for character assassination and blackmail is questionable and condemnable. Sanusi’s suspension is an affront to law and a threat to Nigeria’s institutional stability. This is also a government of double standard.Why is the Minister of Petroleum Deziani still in office when the major agency she superintendents is under investigation over the missing $20 billion ?
Therefore, the only salvation for Nigeria is a purposeful and focused party like the APC. From the Road-map which we unveiled recently, it is clear that we recognize the enormity of the challenges facing our dear country, hence we made job creation our priority, followed by security and the fight against corruption, among others.
We urge our compatriots not to despair or give up hope, because salvation is in the horizon. The APC today embodies the hopes and aspirations of our long-suffering people. We have no doubt that this country can and will work again, and we are up to the task of restoring hope to our beleaguered people.
5. Finally, the party wishes to announce dates for its Congresses and National Convention. The Ward Congress will hold on 5th of April, Local Government Congress on the 12th of April. State Congress on the 23rd of April and National Convention on the 24th of May.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed
Interim National Publicity Secretary