ACN Advises Jonathan Not To Jump To Conclusion


ABUJA, Oct 04, (THEWILL) - The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has advised President Goodluck Jonathan not to jump to conclusions on Friday's bomb attacks in Abuja, saying investigators must be allowed to do a thorough job so they can fish out the culprits.

In a statement issued in Lagos today by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party warned that hasty conclusions, like the one in which the President said the attacks were not perpetrated by MEND but by a small group of terrorists outside Nigeria, is capable of hindering investigations.

''This reminds us of what then President Olusegun Obasanjo said when Alfred Dikibo was murdered on Feb. 6th 2004, that armed robbers killed the PDP stalwart, even when no investigation had yet been conducted into the murder! Such statements from highly placed personalities as the President are diversionary and have a way of prejudicing investigations,'' it said.

ACN also expressed the hope that the federal government would not capitalise on the bomb attacks to target the opposition, especially in view of the kind of the strong rhetoric emanating from the presidency.

The party said there is no doubt that Nigerians were unanimous in condemning the killing of innocent people for whatever reason, ''and we join them in condemning in the strongest possible terms the senseless killings in Abuja on Oct. 1st. Nothing in the world can justify the mindless shedding of innocent blood.''

ACN however expressed concern at the complacency of the country's security agencies who, despite admitting being alerted by foreign intelligence agencies and with a prior warning from MEND, still failed to prevent the explosions that spoilt the country's 50th independence anniversary celebrations.

''In our statement on Sept. 30th, 2010, we expressed grave concern over the worsening security situation in the country, and said the Federal Government has failed woefully in its key responsibility of ensuring the safety of lives and property and must now admit its failure and make amends.

''Unfortunately, that statement has turned out to be prescient, considering what happened the very next day. We hope the government will take a serious look at the way our security agencies operate to see if they are well equipped, in terms of attitude, training and necessary tools, to carry out the responsibilities they are saddled with.

''If they (security agencies) cannot ensure the protection of lives and property now, what assurance is there that they can do so during the 2011 general elections and helped provide a conducive atmosphere for the conduct of a free, fair and credible elections?

''While it is reassuring that the President has promised to overhaul the security system, we must warn that overhauling the system does not necessarily mean engaging in cosmetic changes like the recent change of guards in the military, the police and the SSS. It must involve issues of training, equipment and conducive work environment, among others.

''In view of this, we call on the President to urgently convene a stakeholders meeting on national security to ensure a holistic consideration of the issues involved,'' the party said.