The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to “settle their mercenaries” and ensure the release of students and staff of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State.
Recall that in the early hours of Wednesday, bandits abducted 42 persons at the school and killed one student for raising an alarm.
According to the Niger State Government, 27 of the abductees were students, three were workers of the college while 13 members of their families were also kidnapped.
But in a statement on Wednesday, signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party called on the security agencies to “go after the outlaws and rescue the children”.
The party said it was alarmed by the recent escalation of banditry in Niger as well as other parts of the country, attributing it to “the failure of the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration to take decisive step to tackle the scourge”.
The statement read: “Nigerians were jolted by Tuesday’s coordinated bandit attacks, kidnapping and killings in several communities in Niger State.
“Bandits were reported to have on Tuesday, moved from village to village, supported by a helicopter, as they pillaged our compatriots, sacked major highways and held communities in Niger state hostage for several hours without any counter-attack.
“The PDP describes 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 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.
“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 neighboring 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 these gruesome attacks on Nigerians.”
While commiserating with the victims of the Niger attacks, the PDP urged Nigerians to “remain vigilant and wary of the APC and its activities”.
It also called on patriotic Nigerians to continue rallying around the opportunities created by democracy in the effort to rescue the nation from misrule and ensure lasting security for the nation.