The opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, on Thursday said its governors did not attend the enlarged security council meeting hosted by President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja because they were deceived into believing that the meeting had been called off.
The spokesperson for the party, Lai Mohammed, said in a statement, “On Wednesday, the Presidency called the Chief Detail of the Kwara State Government to say that the meeting had been called off.
“On the basis of this information, which apparently got to other governors under the aegis of the APC, our governors did not attend.
“Now that the meeting has been held, it is incumbent on the Presidency to launch an investigation into the source of the call to the Kwara State Government and what the call was meant to achieve.
“Irrespective of the totally unfounded and absolutely irresponsible allegation that the APC is behind the escalating security situation, our party will not shy away from any serious effort to end the terrorist attacks in our country.
“Therefore, it is not true that our Governors shunned the meeting with the President.”
The explanation tallies with what Salihu Lukman, the Director General of Progressives Governors’ Forum, the umbrella body of the APC governors, told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview on Thursday night.
“The APC governors were even shocked to learn that the meeting held after they had been told it was postponed,” Mr. Lukman had said.
The absence of the 16 APC governors at Thursday’s meeting, which dwelled on the worsening insecurity across Nigeria triggered a blame game between the opposition party and the presidency.
While the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, who was asked to brief journalists after the meeting, said the APC governors were not invited, a presidential aide, Reno Omokri, accused the APC governors of boycotting the meeting.
“No, No, No; they (APC governors) were not invited,” Mr. Akpabio, a member of Mr. Jonathan’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, told journalists.
But as Mr. Akpabio was speaking at the presidential villa, Mr. Omokri was on twitter alleging that the APC governors boycotted the meeting as part of their political gimmicks.
“APC governors don’t shun meetings where the Federal Government gives state funds. But as this one is to take care of the security of Nigerians, they shunned it,” Mr. Omokri said. “Government is different from politics. It’s quite unfortunate that in the pursuance of politics, APC governors shunned a meeting to secure the nation.”