by Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja
The Presidency has dismissed claims that President Goodluck Jonathan is afraid of Boko Haram.
Special Assistant to the President on Public Communication, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said this at a media briefing in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said it was wrong to assume that Jonathan refused to go to Eagles Square, Abuja, for the second year running to mark the country’s 52nd Independence on Monday because he feared he could be attacked by the Islamic sect.
Okupe said, “The President was not and is not afraid of the sect. To say he celebrated the anniversary in his bedroom because of Boko Haram sect is an insult.”
But when asked why the President increased the number of the Special Forces Battalion of the Brigade of Guards in the Presidential Villa, Okupe said it was because the Boko Haram issue was a very serious one.
He said, “We are dealing with a very serious sect, Boko Haram, and I am surprised that people are asking why the President is ensuring that his security is beefed up.
“Under this circumstance, the President is the commander-in-chief. When you go to war; the commander-in-chief is the one in charge.
“When you go to war, in those days the man that carries the flag, when he falls down, that is the end of the war.
“So, you have to make sure that he (the C-in-C) stands and stands erect. The fact that the security in the Villa is beefed up is borne out of necessity and circumstances.”
President presented regimental colour to the newly established 176 Special Forces battalion of the Brigade of Guards at the Presidential Villa on Monday.
The new battalion was said to have been established due to insecurity in the country.
Its establishment brought the number of battalions under the guard to three.
Our correspondent reports that a battalion is made up of between 700 and 1000 soldiers.
However, a typical battalion under the United Nations is usually made up of 776 soldiers.
Okupe chided the opposition political parties for their criticisms of the government.
He said the only thing the opposition celebrates was “evil and disasters,” wondering why they refused to join hands with the Federal Government to fight corruption in the country.
He said the way the opposition was conducting its affairs, indicated that its members were not ready to assume power in 2015.
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