The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that it is alarmed by the recent escalation of banditry in Niger State as well as other parts of the country, following the failure of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration to take decisive steps to tackle the scourge.
The party also condemned the reported killing as well as abduction of students of Government Science Secondary School, Kagara, Niger State by bandits, who invaded the school Wednesday morning.
According to a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, Wednesday, the main opposition party tasked security forces to go after the outlaws and rescue the children.
He said that this is the only acceptable thing to be done as Nigerians were jolted by Tuesday’s coordinated bandit attacks, kidnapping and killings in several communities in Niger State.
The PDP said that the bandits were reported to have on Tuesday, moved from village to village, supported by helicopter as they pillaged innocent people, sacked major highways and held communities in Niger State hostage for several hours without any counter attack.
The PDP described as 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 PDP further said that 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.
According to the PDP, “This probably explains why the APC never raised a strong voice against what has become a national calamity. Instead APC leaders are patronizing the bandits and making excuses for them.
“The public space is awash with reports that many of these bandits terrorizing Nigerians were political mercenaries brought in by the APC from neighbouring countries to help it enforce the rigging of the 2019 elections, but which the APC and its leaders failed to settle after the elections, leaving them to unleash their frustrations on innocent Nigerians.
“Our party charges the APC to speak out on these reports and take immediate steps to settle their political mercenaries, return them to wherever they brought them from and bring an end to this gruesome attacks on Nigerians.”
While commiserating with the victims of the Niger attacks, the PDP tasked the security forces to go after the bandits as well as rescue the Kagara school children before any harm comes to them.
The party further urged Nigerians to remain vigilant and wary of the APC and its activities as it also called on Nigerians to continue in rallying around the opportunities created by democracy in the effort to rescue the nation from misrule and ensure lasting security for the country.