ThisDay Bombing: Jonathan Must Wake Up Now —Makinde, Aturu, Others

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Eminent Nigerians have reacted to the bombing of Thisday and other newspapers in Abuja and Kaduna State, calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to wake up from his slumber and secure the nation.

Speaking with P.M.NEWS this morning, the Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria, Dr. Ola Makinde said “we don’t know where we are going. All Nigerians should be security conscious. The government should have strong will to deal with the problem of Boko Haram menace.”

Makinde said it was time the Jonathan government rose up to the challenge, saying that the terrorists want to destroy his government.

“I oppose dialogue with criminals. Going after media houses is not the best. Nigerians should rise up.”

Politician and pastor, Rev. Moses Iloh lamented the bombing, saying that this “is the height of terrorism for Boko Haram to attack the media. It is pathetic that the Nigerian government has no solution.

“Taming Boko Haram should be the first priority of the government. What is government for if they cannot guarantee security? They are talking about 2015, Nigerians should think again. The public must support the press in Nigeria 100 percent because the media tell the truth and must never be intimidated.”

Activist, Bamidele Aturu described the bombing of media houses as sad and shows that the Jonathan government is completely at a loss over how to tackle insecurity in the land, adding that the government had failed.

“If government cannot guarantee security, it should quit. This government cannot guarantee security and the government should admit that it does not have the solution to the problem of this nation,” he stated.

Save Nigeria Group, SNG, scribe, Yinka Odumakin said “the attack is unfortunate and an assault on press freedom. It is bombing too many and it shows the inability of the Jonathan government to guarantee security.

“The United States issued a warning that terrorists will strike in Abuja but nothing was done about it. There is no government in Nigeria. This government should sit up and ensure terrorism is tackled.”

Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Lagos State Chapter, Mr. Deji Elumoye condemned the bombing of media houses and called on the president to do what was expected of him.

“Jonathan should be up and doing, for over a year, the issue of insecurity has been on the high. With the attack on media houses, it means the average man is not safe. Jonathan should overhaul the entire security network.

“The bombing is uncalled for,” he stated.

Publicity Secretary, Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Lagos State Chapter, Mr. Joe Igbokwe said the party “condemns in the strongest terms the coordinated bombing of Thisday offices in Abuja and Kaduna and The Sun Newspaper. It is unacceptable, it is ugly, it is criminal and it is tragic.

“These bomb throwers and their agents may continue to succeed for a while but their end is imminent. This madness must stop. We sympathise with Thisday and The Sun for this tragic incident and pray that never again will such an ugly incident visit the organizations.”

The National Publicity Secretary, ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, described it as regrettable and reprehensible.

According to him, in a democratic dispensation, the media houses should be free to represent all sides of a story, adding that the reason given for the attack was not justifiable since the media is often times neutral on issues and since the attackers had equal access to the media like any other Nigerian.

He said the ACN commiserates with the affected media houses as well as the families of the deceased.

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Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Ethics and Values, Mrs. Sarah Jibril, in a phone interview with P.M.NEWS, described the attack as traumatic, adding that it had “shown total ignorance and disrespect to anybody’s commitment to the continued existence of Nigeria. It has also shown that some people’s consciences are dead.”

She wondered why the fourth estate of the realm, as journalists are called, have now become the targets of attackers when they are supposed to be the mouthpiece of the aggrieved and the solution finders in the society.

Jibril, while commiserating with media houses across the country, urged them not to relent in their efforts to make the country a better place to live just as she also urged parents to begin to instill the fear of God in their children.

“This attack is against ethics and values and must be discouraged, she said.

Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, condoled with the entire management and staff of THISDAY, the Sun, and The Moment newspapers on the bombings of their offices in Abuja and Kaduna.

Speaking about the attack, Ikuforiji declared: “for anyone to be bombing media houses in our country at a time like this is not only sad but highly unfortunate. .

“The way and manner in which we have been witnessing incessant bombings in various parts of our country for long now is not the way to go at all. It is not the best at all to be losing young innocent lives, who are supposed to be our future leaders,” he stated.

“All those involved in the bombings that we have been witnessing in this country, like the Boko Haram sect should now sheathe their swords and embrace peace in the interest of our country,” Ikuforiji said.

The Chairman of the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on House Services and Special Duties, Ipoola Omisore, in his reaction described the attack on the media houses as a terrible incident and a bad testimonial for northern leaders.

“When the OPC boys were on then, Yoruba leaders were able to curb them because we knew them. Boko Haram members are known everywhere in the Local Government Areas.

“For the President who says the sect would stop at a particular time, he should please wake up from slumber. I also pray this does not get to the South because we have live with the northerners here in peace and so that it does not lead to civil war.

“The media houses are the voice of the masses as well as the only alternative for the oppressed,” he said.

The National Publicity Secretary of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Chief Oluyemi Falade, in his reaction, said the group condemns the attack just as it commiserates with the media houses attacked.

He also berated the Federal Government for downplaying a recent warning by the United States of America.

“When the US said it, the Federal Government, through Labaran Maku, the Minister of Information, condemned, it saying it was a hoax. What we need now in the country is total security. This is going on in the north now and we don’t pray it gets here,” he said.

According to Pius Ezeife Chukwuemeka, the development is terrible when it comes to attacking media houses, appealing that every group should stop the ambition to Islamise Nigeria.

“People should not try to Christianise or Islamise Nigeria. We should worship God the way we choose. Our country is undergoing a major problem and all of us should tackle insecurity,” he stated.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga & Eromosele Ebhomele