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APC behind ‘bringbackourgirls’ protests, says FG

APC behind ‘bringbackourgirls’ protests, says FG

The Federal Government on Wednesday said members of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) were behind the ‘bringbackourgirls’ protesters despite the fact that 90 per cent of the terrorist insurgency in the country were in the APC-controlled states of the North-east.

Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, made the assertion at the Presidential Villa while briefing the press on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Bombings, arson, murders and kidnapping unleashed by the Boko Haram terrorist group in the North-eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa have spiralled in recent times, climaxing with the abduction of about 200 teenage female students in Chibok, Borno State six weeks ago.

Maku declared that even with the massive funds expended on containing the insurgency, 90 per cent of those protesting against government in respect of the schoolgirls abducted by terrorists in Borno has turned out to be members of the APC.

The minister was emphatic that the rescue of the Chibok schoolgirls remained a priority of the Federal Government but condemned what he described as “playing politics” over the issue by the opposition.

His words: “Today, the Federal Government is spending huge chunk of its resources in maintaining security especially in the North-east, yet they constitute over 90 per cent of those protesting against the Federal Government.

“The entire money we are spending is to maintain security in states controlled by that party. So why do you come back and start playing politics?  Ninety per cent of those campaigning to bring back Chibok girls are members of that party, but the media will look the other way.

“I think that honestly, if we want this country to grow, we must ask the relevant questions. The Chibok girls remain our number one priority, we will never sleep, and we will not rest until God brings them out,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the venue of the ‘bringbackourgirls campaign’, Unity Fountain, in Abuja Wednesday turned chaotic as many groups tried to outdo each other.

At about 4:30 p.m., the group coordinated by the former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, was disorganised by other splinter groups to the extent that they had to remain silent for a while.

It was like a drama as the other group predominantly made up of women wearing red shirts surrounded the Ezekwesili group chanting songs “bringbackourgirls boko haram’.

Responding to a question on why the other group surrounded the Ezekwesili group,  a member of the Ezekwesili group said: “Don’t mind them my brother, they are sponsored by the government to distort our campaign.”

Investigation by our correspondent showed that one of the groups is allegedly sponsored by Women for Change Initiatives.

The place later turned rowdy when a group of youths arrived the spot where the Ezekwesili group was sitting and started a free-for-all to the extent that the chairs used by Ezekwesili group were broken into pieces.

The Ezekwesili grouo were driven away from the place after their chairs were destroyed.

The camera belonging to a TV station was destroyed. All efforts by our correspondent to ascertain the TV station that owned the camera was unsuccessful as people were running for safety.

Daily Independent however interviewed some women that were allegedly sponsored by Women for Change Initiative, and they confided on our reporter that they were from the police barracks and that they were promised N1,000 each.

It however took the intervention of well armed police men to calm the situation.

As at the time of filling this report (5:30), the Ezekwesili camp regrouped themselves and were mapping out strategies on the next line of action.

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