A chieftain of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement, Chief Akin Osuntokun, has debunked claims by the Presidency that he lied over bombing in a Borno village on the Sallah Day. He insisted that it was a lie for the Presidency to say there was no attack.
He said according to Reuters report, 63 people were reportedly killed and villages burnt in a terrorist attack in Maimalari village in Borno State the previous day.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, had in a statement on Thursday carpeted Osuntokun, saying “telling lies of that kind betrayed a mind taken over by ill wishes against his own country.”
But in a statement on Friday, Osuntokun said even if there was a mix-up in his figures and location of the attack, the reaction by the Presidency was an illustration of how the incumbent administration had trivialised and made mockery of governance.
He said, “I’m not the Red Cross that has the institutional capacity to keep every detail of these crimes against humanity. Does it matter that 68 were killed in Maimalari rather than 88 in Maiduguri and we are talking of the same day?
“This is yet another demonstration of the penchant of this government for leaving the substance to chase shadows. Okay, 68 people were killed in a Borno village rather than 88 in Maiduguri. At the frequency of the prevailing dispensation of daily bloodletting, who wouldn’t get the specifics and details mixed up?”
Osuntokun, a former adviser to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, added that the reaction by Adesina was consistent with the “fraudulent trademark assertion” by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, two years ago that Boko Haram had been technically defeated.
The statement partly read, “The irony of the statement from the presidency calling me a liar started with an egregious lie against me. I had called Channels Television to confirm the veracity of this scandalous attribution. Of course it was an outright fiction conjured by the presidential spokesman to embellish his narrative of a fundamental slander of the Buhari government.
“There was nowhere in the television discussion I spoke of a bomb blast. Wedded to this lie, Mr. Adesina went on to crow that “Sallah Day had passed quietly and peacefully without even a firecracker going off, let alone bomb blast”. Yet, according to Reuters report, 63 people were reportedly killed and villages burnt in terrorist attack in Maimalari village in Borno State the previous day.
“And who knows how many situations of carnage that went unreported that day. This is the idea of a peaceful Sallah Day the President of Nigeria is boasting about.”
“You will imagine that a government with so much disastrous scorecard on security will be more modest in advertising itself on security governance and competence. You will think that it is not the same government whom a former army chief of staff accused of complicity in the genocidal Fulani militia crisis.
“A couple of weeks ago, Professor Wole Soyinka went to the extent of seeking international intervention in the face of the abject failure of Buhari to stem the tide of the genocidal bloodletting that has enveloped the country.
“Billions of dollars down the drain on supposed containment of the security crisis, you will recall that this government had gone ahead to recently request for another one billion dollar to address the same security situation it claimed to have brought under control.
“Domiciled in Nigeria is the escalating Fulani militia terror that the United Nations has rated the deadliest terrorist group in the whole world.
Osuntokun, who once served as the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, said the mix up did not make him an enemy of the state, and that in terms of public accountability, the presidency should be more worried.