The governing party, All Progressives Congress, has berated the opposing People’s Democratic Party, for “politicking” with the rising cases of banditry in the North; calling it “callous and insensitive to victims and troops”.
This is as it said the activities of bandits, insurgents and other criminal rings had their roots in PDP’s “shabby handling” during their formative stages.
Its position was made known in a statement signed on Tuesday by the National Secretary, APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, John Akpanudoedehe, titled ‘APC to PDP: Politicising anti-banditry efforts insensitive to victims, troops’.
In the past three weeks, there have been over 60 known deaths from bandit attacks in the North. The PUNCH had earlier reported that on Tuesday, December 7, 2021, gunmen ambushed commuters in the Angwan Bawa area of Sabon Birni council, Sokoto, shot at the bus with 29 persons aboard before setting it ablaze.
In a separate attack on Sunday, December 19, 2021, gunmen stormed Kauran Fawa, Marke and Ruhiya of Idasu Ward of Giwa Local Government Area, Kaduna State; killing at least 40 people in their wake.
On the same day, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had just returned from Istanbul, Turkey, where he attended the third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit, hosted by his Turkish counterpart, Recep Erdoğan.
Buhari’s trip to Turkey came at a period of increased calls for him to visit the bandit-ridden states.
Reacting to suggestions by the PDP that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is insensitive to the heinous activities of bandits in parts of the country, the APC said such insinuation “should be seen for what it is—politically motivated, callous and insensitive to victims and our gallant troops battling to end their criminal activities.
“The regrettable attempt to turn a tragic situation into an object of politicking crosses the line of political decorum. True to form, the PDP continues to expose its desperate politics in which all is fair, including unguarded statements mocking the travails of citizens and efforts of security services to score political points.
“The PDP playing politics with the evil activities of bandits, insurgents and other criminal rings which had their roots in PDP’s shabby handling of their criminal activities during their formative stages, has exposed PDP as unpatriotic, banal and a wobbling opposition,” the statement read.
Akpanudoedehe further explained steps already taken by the Buhari regime including the dispatch of high-level security to the affected regions.
“While the PDP wallows in its delusions to score cheap points, the President Buhari-led APC administration has strengthened our security services, particularly the Armed Forces through military procurement and strategic training which has led to great successes against insurgents, bandits and kidnappers.
“This includes the dispatch of high-level security/assessment delegations and delivery of relief items to affected citizens by the National Disaster Management Agency,” he said.
Referencing the recent bandit attack in Sokoto State, the secretary said, “Hours after the visit to the state by the federal delegation, our gallant Armed Forces, elements of the Department of State Services and the Nigeria Police Force carried out operations which neutralised dozens of the bandits and kidnappers, restoring calm in the affected area and the government of Sokoto State commendation of the federal government’s prompt deployment of elite troops who smoked out the bandits and eliminated many of them.”
The party, therefore, assured Nigerians that the President has not and will never relent in ensuring normalcy in all parts of the country.
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