The Peoples Democratic Party has scolded the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)-led All Progressives Congress regime over the deteriorating security situation in the country.
It specifically berated the President for failing to address the kidnap of eight senior police officers by bandits, but was quick to comment on the defection of Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, from the PDP to the APC.
Bandits had abducted eight Assistant Superintendents of Police in Katsina State over a week ago and demanded N100m ransom for their release.
The families of the victims are currently running helter-skelter to raise the reduced ransom of N500,000 to secure the release of each of the cops.
It was gathered that the ASPs were among the nine, who were recently promoted to their current rank. They were attached to the Mobile Police Squadron 6, Maiduguri, Borno State.
They were demobilised from the riot unit and eight of them were on their way to the Zamfara State Police Command on transfer when they were ambushed in the Dogondaji area of Katsina State and taken into the forest.
While being taken into the bush, two of the unarmed policemen escaped, but the bandits shot one of them in the leg and he still managed to find his way to the nearest village from where he was taken to hospital.
The National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, in his address to the National Executive Committee of the party during its 90th meeting in Abuja, on Thursday, declared that the ship of the Nigerian state was on auto pilot.
Secondus said, “Your Excellences, great leaders of our party, before the COVID-19 lockdown, our country was already going through some socio-political and economic challenges arising from poor governance delivery by the ruling All Progressives Congress.
“The security problem of the country has refused to abate; instead, it has multiplied with no clear solution in sight. President Muhammadu Buhari, under whose watch the situation got worse and complicated, has remained clearly helpless and incapable of providing the needed leadership.”
He lamented the slow response by the President to the concerns of Nigerian youths during the #EndSARS protests.
Secondus stated, “It took President Muhammadu Buhari almost two weeks of persuasion and cajoling from many Nigerians, including the Senate, before he agreed to address the nation on the issue after the damage was already done, youths killed by security agencies and property destroyed.
“The protests opened a fresh dimension in the government/citizen relationship and underscored the fact that some fundamental actions are needed to get our polity going on the right track.”
The party chair noted that the nation’s rising debt profile and alleged unbridled corruption made it difficult for Nigerians to believe claims that the government was finding it difficult to pay workers’ November salaries in 428 agencies.
He said, “At the last count, Nigeria’s debt profile is over N31tn; a lot of it is misappropriated. While borrowing in economics is not bad, it depends on what the borrowed resources are being channelled into.
“With the unprecedented corruption in the system under the APC’s watch, it will be difficult to see these borrowed funds properly deployed. Amidst the frightening insecurity in the country accompanied by mass killings that have set fears in the people, what you get from the government is multiple tariffs – electricity, VAT, fuel hike and more – with its operatives indulging in lies and propaganda.”
Secondus also said the PDP NWC, under his leadership, had given a good account of itself since it came on board in spite of the current regime’s anti-democratic disposition.
He pledged that the party would continue to work with stakeholders, especially governors and members of the National Assembly, to ensure that electoral reforms, which would usher in a truly democratic culture, succeeded.
Earlier in a statement titled, ‘Umahi: PDP Mocks Buhari for Political Scavenging…Urges President to Get Serious with Governance’, by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said, “The comment by President Muhammadu Buhari on the defection of Governor David Umahi to the All Progressives Congress smacks of dereliction of duty and political scavenging by the Buhari Presidency.
“President Buhari’s action in abandoning the responsibilities of his office at this critical time to focus on the personal partisan adventure of an individual is a misplacement of energy.
“The PDP holds as appalling that the Buhari Presidency is showing more urgency in commenting on political adventures rather than expressing concern on the reported kidnap of eight senior police officers by bandits.”
It explained that if the President had shown similar urgency in addressing pressing national issues, insurgency, kidnapping and bloodletting ravaging Nigeria would have become a thing of the past.
PDP’s comment, last kick of a dying horse – APC
In response, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, described comments made by the leadership of the PDP “as the last kick of a dying horse.”
He said, “Ordinarily, one would not bother to respond to their tantrums, because it is obvious that they are pained that they have lost a very vibrant governor to the family of progressives. Like I had said before, this is just the beginning. Very soon, we will be welcoming many more big fishes from the dying PDP.
“The PDP is the least qualified political party to talk about insecurity and corruption. If they had done the needful with all the money they collected when oil was selling above $100 per barrel, we would not be talking about economic woes.
“On security, President Muhammadu Buhari inherited a collapsed security architecture and he is rebuilding it. Only recently, he approved a new salary structure for the police; he has equipped the military. The PDP should go and pay its workers and stop trying to play politics with everything.”
PDP is being nervous, says Presidency official
Similarly, a Presidency official told one of our correspondents that the PDP, with its statement, had shown that it was being nervous.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said the Presidency was not surprised by the PDP’s position.
He said the party had not been able to add new members in both chambers of the National Assembly since the last elections, but had been losing members.
He said, “The Peoples Democratic Party is being nervous. We are not at all surprised. Mind you, it didn’t add new members in both Houses of Parliament since the last elections. Instead, it has been losing members in the parliament and now that it has started losing governors, its total strength is waning and it is down to its lowest level since the birth of the Fourth Republic.
“Today, the PDP is in such a state that it is not recognisable from that colossal party, which forcefully dominated the executive and legislative branches of our government for 16 years.
“When they held sway, they used the anti-corruption bodies and the investigation agencies to coerce elected officials to defect to their party. Now, out of power, they don’t have the means to arm-twist anyone or force them to defect.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, could not be reached on the telephone for comment as of the time of filing this story.