Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately visit Kaduna, Borno, Zamafara and other states across the country being ravaged by bandits, insurgents and other criminal elements.
It said President Buhari’s recent troubleshooting shuttle to Mali while allegedly failing to address current economic and security crises in Nigeria raised questions about his determination to address the challenges confronting the country.
The opposition party, in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said President Buhari’s alleged prioritisation of situations in Mali over the serious security and economic challenges confronting Nigeria left much to be desired.
“Since President Buhari has shown that he can leave the comfort and safety of the Presidential Villa, he should respond to the distress calls by Nigerians and immediately visit Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara, Taraba, Benue, Borno, Adamawa, Sokoto, Yobe and other states of our nation being daily pillaged by bandits, insurgents, kidnappers and marauders.
“While the PDP has nothing against Nigeria’s participation in seeking peace in the troubled Mali, it is, however, depressing that, upon re-opening his doors, President Buhari had Mali as his priority destination and could not demonstrate the littlest solidarity with Nigerians, even if it is a whistle stop at any of our military posts in the fronts or any of the distressed states.
“Our party believes that Mr. President receives regular briefing on the worsened security and economic situation in our country and ought to take these issues as priority.
“Indeed, Mr. President must be receiving regular briefing on the daily ravaging of communities and mindless killings in Katsina, his home state; Kaduna, Zamfara, Taraba, Benue, Borno, Adamawa, Sokoto, Yobe states, among others in addition to the reported challenges facing our gallant soldiers in the fronts, yet upon reopening of his doors, he chose to jet away to Mali instead of addressing these critical issues at home.
“Mr. President has taken no decisive steps to address the worsening economic situation in our country, which is daily plummeting in his hands, the accumulating foreign debts, plundering of foreign reserves, frightening unemployment rate, devaluation of our naira, high cost of living and issues of reduced life expectancy in Nigeria.
“He has also failed to forcefully confront the widespread corruption that has become a hallmark of his administration in which officials and leaders of his party have been engaging in unbridled treasury looting as being exposed in the investigative hearings at the National Assembly.
“Moreover, under the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC), our nation has experienced the worst form of division and instability in the polity due to the unchecked violation of our Constitution, disregard to principles of separation of powers and federal character; manifest arrogance of government officials, abuse of human rights, nepotism, disobedience to court orders, stifling of free speech, harassment of opposition and violation of extant statutory regulations.
“Nigerians, therefore, wonder what President Buhari has to present on the table in Mali alongside other West African leaders when his administration has failed to demonstrate the required commitment to confront our domestic political, economic and security challenges, which escalated due to its incompetence and seething corruption,” the PDP stated.
Like the PDP, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) also flayed Buhari for embarking on a trip to broker peace in Mali “while unable to resolve the myriad of insecurity challenges facing the country.”
CUPP spokesman, Ikenga Ugochinyere, said the president should be more concerned about the spate of insecurity in his country, particularly in the North East and his home state, Kastina, before attempting to help other countries solve their.
“President Buhari’s journey to Mali is like the journey of a man whose house is on fire, but decided to be chasing rats. Buhari decided to take fresh air after months of hibernating in Aso Rock by going too far away to Mali to resolve their crisis when Katsina which is his home state and 20 other states in Nigeria have been taken over by bandits and insurgents with soldiers and citizens being killed…
“In case if he pretends not to be aware, CUPP is calling President Buhari’s attention to the increasingly worsening security situation, which includes insurgency in the North East, banditry in the North West as well as kidnapping, armed robbery and other security challenges in other parts of the country, if not tackled headlong, may soon consume Nigeria.”