The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed solidarity with Gov. Samuel Ortom, and the people of Benue State, over the incessant attacks by persons alleged to be Fulani herdsmen in the state.
The party further condemns what it described as the manifest failure of the government to take decisive steps to apprehend the assailants as well as provide adequate security in the state, even after the attempt on Governor Samuel Ortom’s life.
In a statement, the party said, “The PDP holds that the body language and lethargic approach of the APC-led administration appear to validate apprehensions that the assailants are enjoying the cover of some persons in government, in the execution of their bloody enterprise against Nigerian citizens.
“Our party insists that President Buhari has no further excuse but to take responsibility and adopt urgent security measures to stop the carnage in Benue and other states where invading terrorist elements, under various shades are displacing our citizens and taking control of their common patrimony.
“The PDP solidarises with Governor Ortom and the entire people of Benue state and urge the governor not to be deterred by the situation.
“The party charges the people of Benue state to remain at alert while urging security agencies to be on the side of the people in checking the activities of these terrorists marauding communities in the state.
“Furthermore, the PDP calls on Nigerians across board, not to succumb to terrorist elements but remain vigilant and continue to cooperate with our security agencies at this critical time.
Meanwhile, in another statement, the opposition party says the statement by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Lai Mohammed, that the Federal Government is not duty bound to protect Nigerians from bandits, has confirmed apprehensions that the All Progressives Congress and the Buhari Presidency have surrendered the nation to terrorists.
Recall that the minister said on Tuesday, “The PDP alleged that kidnappers and bandits are not being brought to justice. This is apparently aimed at the Federal Government.
“It is shocking that a party that ruled this nation for all of 16 years does not know that kidnapping and banditry are not federal offences.
“The PDP should therefore call out the states, including those being controlled by it, to ensure a rigorous prosecution of arrested kidnappers and bandits.
“Meanwhile, PDP conveniently forgot that as far as terrorism, a federal offence, is concerned, this Federal Government has successfully prosecuted thousands of Boko Haram members in Kainji, as part of a continuing exercise. We are now seeking the cooperation of the judiciary to continue with the trial of arrested terrorists.”
The PDP stressed that the statement by the minister is another clear evidence that President Muhammadu Buhari is indeed absent, has completely abdicated the responsibilities of his office and capitulated to bandits.
The party states further, “Lai Mohammed’s statement further reveals that the Buhari Presidency has not been committed to combating banditry but had, all along, been feeding Nigerians with lies, propaganda and falsehood, while bandits are pillaging our nation.
“It is incredulous that the Buhari Presidency, in its failures, is abdicating a responsibility exclusively vested on it by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to operate all apparatus of national security; the police, military, paramilitary and all other armed services; to secure lives and property in all parts of our country.
“Perhaps, President Buhari and his minister of information need to be tutored that the Second Schedule (Exclusive Legislative List) clearly vested the control of all apparatus of national security on the Federal Government and not the states.
“Items 2, 28, 38, 45, 57 of the Exclusive List are clear in vesting the operation of the police, the military and other armed services; the control of arms and ammunitions as well as criminal records among other statutory paraphernalia of national security on the Federal Government and not the state.
“The APC and the Buhari Presidency needs to be tutored that bandits and kidnappers are terrorists and that in line with the provisions of our constitution, the agencies vested with the statutory responsibility of protecting Nigerians from such outlaws are under the control of the Federal Government.
“It is unthinkable that President Buhari, who promised to lead from the front, is now running away from duty while seeking to heap the burden of his office on the states, who do not have control of security agencies.
“Moreover, the fact that a cabinet minister in the shade of Lai Mohammed is left to address this critical aspect of our national security that is vested on the President, shows that our nation is plagued by Presidential absenteeism and a dysfunctional command structure.
“Such situation never occurred under the PDP administration.
“Now that President Buhari and the APC-led Federal Government can no longer guarantee the safety of lives and property, the only way out is for the National Assembly to immediately amend the constitution and establish state police to guarantee the security of Nigerians as already recommended by the PDP.
“The PDP calls on President Buhari to come out of hiding and address the nation, in his own voice, on the worsening insecurity in our country, occasioned by his misrule.”