The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said terrorism would have been eliminated in Nigeria if leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had not frustrated anti-terrorism measures of past government.
But, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has fired back, alleging that PDP wanted to use the Boko Haram insurgency to divide the country when it was in power. PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said APC chieftains, as opposition leaders of now defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), opposed every effort of PDP government against terrorism.
“Nigerians can recall how in 2013, 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,” the party stated. It further noted the propaganda war of the defunct ACN leaders, which it added, frustrated government’s effort to procure weapons to fight terrorists.
The party recalled that some of the ACN leaders, who now occupy top positions in the present APC government, accused 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 said. According to the party, the then opposition party deployed negative propaganda to scuttle efforts by the Goodluck Jonathan administration to bring in mercenaries that would have assisted in the antiterrorism 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.
“Our party also recalls how, ahead of the 2015 elections, the APC leaders encouraged hoodlums to fight against the system, with one of them, who is now a minister, emboldening hoodlums and insurgents to resist our security agencies with machine guns.
“Even in government, the APC administration has failed to effectively equip our security forces, as recently confirmed by its officials, thereby jeopardising the lives of our gallant troops fighting in the fronts, while the Commander-in-Chief, who promised to lead from the fronts, continue 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,” PDP noted.
The party added that even though the APC administration had declared bandits as deserters from Gaddafi’s army, yet it asked Nigerians not to fight back, but accommodate them as neighbours. Such subtle support for terrorism, PDP stated, was witnessed in the attempt by the APC-led administration to blame the 43 innocent Nigerians beheaded by terrorists in Borno State on Saturday.
It said the APC has failed to account for thousands of thugs and hoodlums it allegedly imported into the country during the 2015 and 2019 elections, and added that many of them are suspected to be part of the bandits and marauders ravaging the country today. However, APC has said that the opposition party should keep a distance each time Boko Haram issue was being discussed. Its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, said: “The PDP planted Boko Haram as their own way of ATM for collecting money from government. “It is PDP that started Boko Haram by using them as ATM against government.
So, what are they talking about? “They were in government and they knew the right thing to do as at that time, but because they were using it as a political tool to the extent of breaking the country.
“All the equipment they said they were buying, did they buy any of them. If they had bought all those equipment we won’t be talking about Boko Haram at this time. “So, they are not in the position to talk about Boko Haram because when they were in power they had all the executive power and even the money. Up till date, we have not seen the equipment they said they bought and the ones they bought were second hand as they were not working. What happened to the cash that were given to the NSA, was it not what they used for politics.”