THE Director General, Voice of Nigeria (VON) and chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), Osita Okechukwu, on Sunday expressed doubt over the ability of the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, to tackle insecurity in the country, urging him, and indeed all Nigerians to join President Muhammadu Buhari to fight the social malaise instead of comparing the dead with those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Okechukwu while reacting to journalists’ question in Enugu on Sunday over the successful presidential declaration of ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the presumptive candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at Yola, Adamawa State where he lamented over killings in the country.
The VON DG, an ardent supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, dismissed the statistics of the former vice president, saying they were unnecessary and inaccurate.
According to him, “What is important is how to stop the killings, we need cooperation, prayers, information and assistance to the government.
“Otherwise, Wikipedia reported from credible sources Iraqi death toll of over 500,000 persons since the US-led invasion of 2003, about 5,000 of who are US Servicemen.
Okechukwu thanked Atiku for acknowledging the massive infrastructural development going in the land under Buhari but insisted that he was pessimistic over his promise to tackle insecurity with his “questionable” immigration status in the United States of America.
“I am outraged like most Nigerians over the spate of killings by herdsmen/farmers clash, bandits, militias Boko Haram and sundry. President Muhammadu Buhari, I must confess is very sad over the killings. His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, Turaki of Adamawa statistics are unnecessary and inaccurate, for one death is painful.”
“At any rate his statistics and can be best-dubbed campaign hype if not fake news, when the real statistics are assembled. Iraqi casualty is over 500,000. The cardinal question, in all honesty, is can Turaki stop the insecurity without the cooperation of international security agencies, especially that of the United States?”
On the public perception that Buhari is not doing enough to stop the large-scale killings, Okechukwu said: “Am on good note that President Muhammadu Buhari is quietly deploying all means necessary to stop the insecurity in the land, among which is deployment of Mission Critical Communications System by Motorola Solutions of Illinois, United of America, an equipment which will put critical information at the fingertips of all the security agencies in Nigeria.”
“In fact, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno and Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, one understands, are leading the pack. I don’t want to say more than this, for this is the security issue” Okechukwu said.
He appealed to all Nigerians, especially politicians to cooperate with Mr President instead of making insecurity a campaign issue.
Reminded that insecurity will remain on the top burner unless curbed and that Atiku who is one of those most likely to fly the PDP’s flag will definitely return this issue to the front burner, Okechukwu responded:
“My relief is that His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar graciously recognised the unprecedented massive infrastructural development going on in the past three years under President Buhari. The targeted 5,000 kilometres of federal roads, 5,000 kilometres of rail lines, 5,000 additional megawatts of electricity and bid for self-sufficiency in food are anchored on prudent management of the public fund. Can Turaki guarantee Nigerians to curb corruption to this level?”
He challenged Atiku to authorise the United States Border Authority to make public his Immigration Status, querying if as a president, the former vice president will not go to the United States of America.
Recalling that President Muhammadu Buhari few weeks after inauguration was honoured with a red carpet reception at the White House, Okechukwu enjoined all Nigerians irrespective of political affiliations to join hands and fight insecurity.
“Since the presidential contest is like a beauty contest, Buhari remains the best among those parading themselves to be President in 2019”, Okechukwu concluded
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