The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday asked Nigerians to hold officials of the Buhari Presidency and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) responsible for the festering violence and incessant killing of innocent Nigerians by terrorists.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said that the declaration by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration that the nation, under its watch, is at the mercy of terrorists, is self-indicting.
It described such declaration as the outcome of the overt and covert support allegedly given to terrorists by some APC leaders for their selfish interests.
The opposition PDP recalled how the APC chieftains, as opposition leaders in the APC as well the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), allegedly openly showed sympathy to terrorists and took steps that, it noted, frustrated genuine efforts by the then PDP government to fight terrorism.
The party drew attention to incidences in 2013, when APC leaders, then as ACN leaders, declared the proscription of terrorist groups in Nigeria as unconstitutional and even “demanded that terrorists be accorded VIP treatment and should be brought to Abuja for negotiation in private jets; a development that sparked public apprehensions of their suspected links with terrorist groups.”
PDP further recalled how the APC, as opposition, “went on propaganda war to frustrate government’s effort towards procurement of weapons to fight terrorists, with some of them, who are now governors and ministers, accusing the then Federal Government of seeking to use the weapons to kill opposition members.”
“The role played by APC leaders to frustrate the purchase of weapon through South Africa connection is still fresh in the minds of Nigerians,” PDP stressed.
The party drew attention to how the APC deployed negative propaganda to scuttle efforts by the Jonathan administration to bring in mercenaries that would have assisted in the anti-terrorism war.
“Nigerians would also recall how these APC leaders truncated the training of the elite troops in Belarus by claiming that they were being trained as snipers to kill opposition members before the 2015 general election,” the statement read in part.
The PDP condemned the failure by the APC administration to effectively equip Nigeria’s security forces, “as recently confirmed by the Senate”.
The failure, according to the PDP, jeopardised the lives of “our gallant troops fighting in the fronts while the commander-in-chief, who promised to lead from the fronts, continued to issue unhelpful rhetorics from the safety and comfort of the Presidential Villa.”
“The public can recall how the APC Federal Government and APC governors have been making excuses for terrorists, negotiating with, and even paying and pampering the killers of our compatriots.” the statement added.
PDP also drew the attention of Nigerians to how “the APC administration had declared these marauders and bandits as deserters from Gaddafi’s army and yet asked Nigerians not to fight back but accommodate them as neighbors.”
“Such subtle support for terrorism was witnessed in the bizarre attempt by the APC-led administration to blame the 43 innocent Nigerians beheaded by terrorists in Borno State on Saturday,” the opposition party stressed.