By Rotimi Ijikanmi, Abuja.
The Federal Government on Tuesday berated former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar over a statement credited to him expressing surprise at the existence of Boko Haram insurgents.
Atiku, the presidential candidate of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), was quoted as saying that he could not understand the Boko Haram phenomenon, and wondered why the Boko Haram insurgents continued to operate.
Responding to the statement, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that Atiku should throw the question to his party, PDP, “under whose watch the Boko Haram insurgency started in 2009 and festered.”
The minister reacted at the 11th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB)’s Scorecard Series (2015-2023), organised to showcase the achievements of the Buhari-administration
The edition featured the Minister of Power, Aliyu Abubakar. who gave the scorecard of the ministry in the past seven years
In an opening remark, Mohammed said that for six years until 2015, when the Buhari-administration assumed office and inherited Boko Haram, “the PDP more or less nurtured the insurgents to the monster they later became.
“Alhaji Atiku should ask his party why it allowed Boko Haram to operate freely, bombing cities, motor parks, schools and other soft targets unrestrained.
“Alhaji Atiku, who was then residing in Abuja before porting to his new abode in Dubai, should ask his party, the PDP, while it allowed Boko Haram to bomb the police headquarters, the UN complex, a shopping mall and motor parks in Abuja with so much ease,” he said.
The minister stressed that with the efforts and sacrifices of the Nigerian military, normalcy had been achieved in the North East, the home region of Boko Haram.
Mohammed said that the Boko Haram terrorists had been cleared from most of their strongholds, while the remnants were being restricted to the Tumbus Island around the Lake Chad that were difficult to access.
“The former Vice-President may want to know that both kinetic and non-kinetic activities, employed by the military, have seen the terrorists surrendering in droves, thereby freeing large spaces, for normal socio-economic life to resume.
“The good news this year is that a bumper agricultural harvest is assured, as farmers were able to carry out extensive farming, which had not been possible since the beginning of insurgency and terrorism in the North East,” he said.
He cautioned Atiku that he should, while on campaign and throwing political jabs, “take note of the popular idiom that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”