The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are at ‘war’ over a recent statement credited to Rivers state Governor Nyesom Wike.
Governor Wike had berated the APC-led government for poor handling of the escalating violence, killing and other acts of terrorism across the country.
Replying both Wike and his party-the PDP-the ruling APC said the current level of insecurity in the country could be blamed on the “inept manner” with which the opposition party handled the Boko Haram terrorists while it held sway as the ruling party.
In a statement Wednesday in Abuja by the secretary to the APC national caretaker committee, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, the party insisted the seeds of the insecurity which the APC administration was containing were sown by the PDP administration when it handled the Boko Haram insurgency.
Akpanudoedehe said the remarks by the Rivers state governor, “whose party members call a dictator, flies against the continuous efforts of our security forces who are toiling day and night and successfully rolled back the Boko Haram insurgency it inherited to a small part on the shores of Lake Chad.
“Nigerians can recall that the insurgents once attacked places of worship, markets and gathering of citizens in many states of the Federation before the APC administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari galvanised and equipped the armed forces to degrade their capacity to strike all over the country.
“It is ironic that the dictator at the Rivers State government house has forgotten so soon that kidnapping for ransom, like the Boko Haram insurgency, did not start under this administration, but every effort is being made to stop it along with its twin evil of banditry.
“The APC administration has consistently worked for the best interest of Nigeria and will not be distracted by the antics of the PDP designed to mislead Nigerians into assuming that the PDP they rejected in free and fair elections in 2015 and 2019 is worthy of their trust.
“A leopard cannot change its spots. The PDP is clearly in disarray. It was a failure in governance and a shocking failure as an opposition party. Nigerians cannot risk the country’s future in the hands of the same political party that brought the rot the APC administration is clearing,” Akpanudoedehe stated.
However, PDP national publicity secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan insisted “Governor Wike, in stating that the future of our nation cannot be left in the hands of the APC, directly spoke the mind of majority of Nigerians across board.
“As such, any attack on Governor Wike, on this score, is a direct assault on the generality of Nigerians.
“Nigerians are aware that the PDP administration of President Goodluck Jonathan handed over a united and stable country to the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari after pushing terrorists to the fringes and conducting elections in all parts of our country.
“The APC has not denied the fact that it was on assumption of its office that terrorism resurged as APC leaders opened up our nation to terrorists, bandits and vandals, including those they brought in from neighbouring countries, as political mercenaries to assist the APC to unleash violence on Nigerians during elections.
“Also, Nigerians are aware of how the APC administration shielded terrorism apologists in their cabinet; how APC leaders, on several occasions, made case for terrorists, asked Nigerians not to fight back in the face of aggression and even blamed victims of terrorism as witnessed in the case of 43 rice farmers who were beheaded by terrorists in Borno state.
“Our party notes that the APC has been deliberately compromising the security of our nation to allow for chaos, crisis and emergency situation in our country, for their selfish and unpatriotic gains. That also explains why the APC always attack well-meaning Nigerians who seek to unveil their plots.
“It is indeed unfathomable how the APC and its government, with all the apparatchik of governance available to them, can be looking helplessly and forcing our country into a state of turmoil if the situation in which Nigeria is sunk was not their design.
“As Governor Wike had said, in line with the consistent position of our party, it is clear that the future of Nigeria can never be left in the hands of an obtrusively incompetent, insensitive, vindictive and violent happy mass of failures like the APC.
“Moreover, the APC and its government have no propensity for peace; it has nobody in its political den to proffer approaches for a peaceful community of people and that is why they are always running to the PDP product in President Goodluck Jonathan for peacekeeping assignments across Africa and other parts of the world. Of course, one cannot give what he doesn’t have.
“It is therefore unfortunate that the APC will choose to live in perpetual self-denial over its inability and failure to ensure peace, unity, orderliness and cohesion in our country.
“Our party wants the APC to know that while they may gag their own members, they cannot stop other well-meaning Nigerians like Governor Wike from exposing the atrocities and failures of the APC,” the opposition party further added.
Niger Islamiyya kidnap
Meanwhile, terrorists have claimed responsibility for the kidnap of about 200 pupils of the Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School in Tegina, Niger state.
It was gathered the terrorists made contact with the school management Monday, demanding the sum of N110 million for the release of the pupils by the end of Wednesday.
Headmaster of the institution, Abubakar Alhassan, according to report, stated that the terrorists threatened to kill the kidnapped pupils if the deadline was not met.
Alhassan also said the message had been passed on to officials of the state government, who maintained that ransom would not be paid to terrorists.
In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mary Noel-Berje, Deputy Governor Ahmed Mohammed Ketso disclosed that the government was in pursuit of the kidnappers, and measures were being taken to ensure the safe release of the Tegina Islamic School children.
“We don’t pay ransom to abductors. We are trying to negotiate to see how we can bring them back safely,” the statement said.
It also said the government had identified some parents of the abducted pupils and assured them of the safe return of the children.(Ripples)
Matawalle orders shoot-at-sight
In a related development, Zamfara state Governor Bello Matawalle has directed the state’s police and other security services to carry out President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to shoot anyone in possession of illicit weapons.
The president issued the order March when criminal activity in the state was at an all-time high.
Matawalle claimed only law enforcement personnel should be armed in a series of tweets on Wednesday.
Anyone detected in unlawful possession of firearms, according to the governor, “should be shot on the spot.”
He said his administration would support the security agencies with the necessary logistics to discharge their duties.
“The Zamfara State Police and other government security agencies are to effectively implement the Presidential order to shoot on sight at bandits, persons or group of people seen with Ak-47 or any weapons.
“Only those approved by law or the security agencies are to carry guns and other sophisticated weapons, anyone found in unlawful possession of guns should be shot on the spot.
“Our administration will always support the police and other security agencies with all the necessary logistics so as to discharge their duties effectively,” the governor said.