Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Public Affairs, Mr. Doyin Okupe
The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Public Affairs, Mr. Doyin Okupe, has described the call by the former minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Nasir El-Rufai, on President Goodluck to resign, as the ranting of a deranged man.
According to Mr. Okupe, the ongoing security challenge in the country was not enough grounds for President Goodluck Jonathan to resign from Office.
He accused politicians of trying to cash in on the situation for their own objectives, adding: “I believe that people just want to play politics. All what you are hearing is just the manipulation of the present situation to suit their political purposes.
The former FCT Minister was said to have called on the President to resign, if he can no longer tackle the escalating violence especially in the Northern part of the country.
The SSA while fielding questions from journalists said that nowhere in the world has the President been asked to resign on account of insurgent activities, pointing out that even in Iraq, Iran and the United States, insurgency as a phenomenon has been difficult to resolve.
“Everybody knows that insurgency is a very difficult national problem. It is not anything peculiar to Nigeria. No responsible citizen of any of those countries affected by insurgency before call on their Presidents to resign.”
According to him, “El-Rufai is my younger brother. I have so much respect for him but politics is more or less derailing or deranging him.
The SSA also faulted the former Minister’s criticism of the President’s reliance on citizens for information on terrorist activities, saying that “when he (El-Rufai) talks about intelligence, there is no better security in any country than by the people of the country. It is communal security that will help government and security agencies to root out insurgence.
“If people shielded insurgents, they make the works of security agencies more difficult. Can President Goodluck Jonathan be in Borno and everywhere at the same time?”
“I am sure that my brother, El-Rufai is hopeful to be a presidential candidate of one of the parties very soon. What I will expect him to do with the level of intellect, intelligence and the resource that has been given, his own personal education is to come out with some reasonable plans, some suggestions, not just criticising government for criticising sake.
“When tragedy befalls a country, responsible men and women of that country forget partisanship and rally round their nation and they try their best to help existing government to tackle that. Once that is over, they go back to politics. This is not time for politics.
The SSA also used the opportunity of the briefing to lash out at the Vice Presidential candidate of the Congress for Progress Change (CPC), and Resident Pastor of Latter Rain Assembly, Ogba, Pastor Tunde Bakare saying he should stop converting his pulpit to political podium to deceive unsuspecting Nigerians.
The SSA fell short of calling Mr. Bakare a false prophet, recalling his prediction that former President, Olusegun Obasanjo will not be elected in 1999 fell flat.
According to Mr. Okupe, not done yet, the fiery Lagos preacher went ahead to say Mr. Obasanjo will be beheaded like an old testament king. “But the glory of God, whose mercies endureth forever, Mr. Obasanjo completed his term and is still heal and healthy to this day”.
“Every man or woman who politicises this issue of Boko Haram, people should disregard and discard whatever information they hear from them. They are not serious-minded people.
“Pastor Bakare also falls into that category. It is shameful. You cannot convert the pulpit to a podium. If you want to be a politician, please come out.
Mr. Okupe continued, “I have personally followed his career since he ventured into politics and have found it extremely difficult to clearly decipher who he really is – is he a reverend gentleman, a politician, or a civil rights activist. Often times he manifests all the above traits but virtually in all cases there is a major tinge of extremism that tends to cast serious doubts on his personality be it as a man of God, a politician or even a Civil Rights Activists.
“It is however most pathetic that since the Buhari/Bakare ticket failed as expected, the pastor’s obsession or hate-backed capacity to disparage and insult President Goodluck Jonathan is limitless and boundless. Pastor Bakare must now accept that the elections are over and the nation has moved on.
“Pastor Bakare came into politics a few years ago and he became a vice presidential candidate of a major political party. Some of us have been in politics for 30 years and we did not even become a governor and we did not say the country must come down, that is unfair. It is unacceptable,” he declared.