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PDP to APC: Scale-up war on terrorism

…says party mismanaged Nigeria’s diversity

…calls for non-partisan approach to security

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday, took a holistic view of the security situation in the country and said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government should be decisive in handling the problem.

 

PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, at a world press conference in Abuja, said Nigeria is on the precipice with arms-bearing nonstate actors daily eroding the nation’s sovereignty.

 

The party had, last week, held a series of meetings, including the National Caucus and National Executive Committee (NEC), to evaluate the state of the country. PDP leaders across the country, including Governor Dirus Ishaku of Taraba State,

Senate Minority Leaders, Enyinnaya Abaribe, his House of Representatives counterpart, Ndidu Elumelu, immediate past President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, among others, were present at the media briefing. Secondus said the situation in the country is not normal and demands exceptional steps to restore it to normalcy.

 

He supported the call for the Nigerian government to invite foreign countries to help in tackling the security challenges. “In addition, efforts should be made towards partnership with foreign governments and miscellaneous entities for the war efforts.

 

“We also call for the deployment of technology in the fight against terror, banditry and other crimes,” he said. Secondus decried lack of intelligence gathering to track bandits’ attacks and blamed it on failure of the intelligence community.

 

“The Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) established many years ago by a PDP administration, is designed for this purpose and others,” he said. He demanded that all culprits should be brought to book and regretted that “government’s monopoly over legitimate coercive  powers has been compromised and torpedoed, with criminal gangs let loose across the country.

 

“These perilous situations have manifested through terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, arson and inexplicable murderous rampage across our nation.

 

“It is unimaginable that terrorists, who had been pushed out to the fringes by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, leading to the successful elections of 2015, have since boldly reasserted themselves and are now taking territories in five local governments of Niger State, which is only two hours from Abuja.

 

“It is also important to note that the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, who, by his position, is armed with credible intelligence, raised the alarm that terrorists  and bandits were making inroads into the towns in Kaduna State.”

 

The National Chairman said PDP is willing to give a helping hand in finding a solution to the crisis, and called for adequate equipment and welfare of the nation’s troops.

 

He also called for the establishment of a state police, as it is tradition in other federations, as well as the creation of a National Borders Protection Force to secure the nation’s borders.

 

This, according to him, will include an integrated border protection system that will draw personnel and equipment from existing armed service and immigration. “We cannot continue to watch while terrorists and bandits continue to levy war on our nation, through our porous borders.

 

“This border force should be equipped with reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, prevention and enforcement. It should, therefore, have air, sea, and land capability.

 

“The tension and current separatist agitations threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria owe their origins to the perfunctory management of diversity by the APC-led Federal Government, as every action of this administration goes to confirm the fears of the victims and legitimises the agitations of the separatist groups.

 

“Worse still, instead of engaging Nigerians, this administration resorts to harassment and intimidation of voices of dissent.

 

They clamp down on democratic expressions against exclusion as well as political opposition, weaponizing critical institutions like the armed forces, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and even regulatory agencies like the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), etc.

 

“Even an appearance on a national television or radio could warrant a clampdown by the NBC or invitation by the EFCC or ICPC. We fear that this, if not checked, could soon graduate to assassination of political opponents and voices of dissent,” he added.

 

The PDP National Chairman noted that all calls and entreaties on the Federal Government to accommodate the South East in the headship of the nation’s armed forces and security agencies were ig-

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