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THE Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its Presidential candidate in the 2019 general election, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, have shown anguish over the students abducted from Government Science Secondary School Kagara, Niger State by bandits.
In distinct statements in Abuja, on Wednesday, both the PDP and Atiku, confronted the regime led by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to stop indulging bandits in order to end the menace of insecurity.
In a statement tagged, ‘Banditry: PDP raises alarm, calls out APC to settle their mercenaries’, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbodiyan, said the party like most Nigerians was frightened by the rapid increase of banditry in parts of the country, particularly in Niger State.
The party said the condition worsened by the failure of the Buhari-led APC regime administration to take decisive step to address the scourge. The party was dismayed that the bandits who assaulted the school disappeared with students without a counter-offensive by the security agents.
Ologbodiyan stated that it was, “revealing that while the people of Niger state and Nigerians in other states were under attack by bandits, APC leaders, including those in Niger state, were busy pursuing their party’s phony membership re-registration exercise, instead of rallying security and rescue efforts for the people.
“The lethargic stance of the APC administration towards the fight against banditry further validates reports in the public space that the bandits are connected to the APC and enjoying cover under the ruling party.”
Atiku in a statement tagged, ‘Kagara abductions: We must stop rewarding criminality, or it will increase,’ while criticising the abductions said, “The spate of insecurity in Nigeria is now beyond alarming. It has gotten to crisis levels, especially when it involves children and other minors.”
He said that now was not the time to play the blame game but for the government to take charge.
Atiku advised the Federal Government to declare all primary and secondary schools in affected areas as protected zones and organize armed military personnel to man positions around schools while states should complement them with Civilian Joint Task Force personnel as part of solution to the problem.
He also advised the government to impose provisions of the law each time bandits are arrested to serve as a warning to others.
In reply, the APC in a statement tagged, ‘President Buhari focused on quick, safe return of Niger State abductees’, dismissed the PDP statement as harsh and unjustified.
The statement, signed by the APC National Secretary, John AkpanUdoedehe, read in part, “If anyone is in doubt that the PDP shouldn’t be taken seriously on any issue in the country, here lies a stark reminder.
“To this end, we cannot join issue with the PDP but rather focus on ongoing efforts to ensure the quick and safe release of the abducted schoolchildren and other citizens. Coordinated by our service, President Muhammadu Buhari has already deployed to Niger State national security assets to achieve this.”
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