From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Director-General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Dr Salihu Moh Lukman, has lamented that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and opposition politicians are using the problems of insecurity in the country to mobilise Nigerians against the ruling party and President Muhammadu Buhari.
He further argued that criminal activities associated with herdsmen have also increased incidences of banditry, kidnappings and abductions of citizens.
In a statement he issued in Abuja during the weekend, titled; ‘APC and struggle for new Nigeria’, he said: “With incidences of banditry in the North-West and North-Central producing more cases of kidnappings and abductions of citizens, including schoolchildren, capacity of Nigerian security agencies to prevent and arrest criminal activities of rebellious groups in all parts of the country are legitimate concerns of all Nigerians.
“There is also the challenge of preventing or managing conflicts arising from activities of herdsmen, which have provoked all manner of conflicts between Fulani herdsmen and other citizens, especially farmers, across every part of the country. Criminal activities associated with herdsmen also increased incidences of banditry, kidnappings and abductions of citizens.
“The narrative around this, promoted by the PDP and their supporters, is that challenges of insecurity facing the country is a confirmation that President Buhari and APC have failed Nigerians.
“Citing campaign promises of APC in 2015, undertaking to end insecurity, fight corruption and build the economy, problems of insecurity in the country is being used to mobilise Nigerians against the APC and President Buhari.
“Part of the politics is also aimed at mobilising support for opposition politicians ahead of 2023 elections. Divisive politics of ethnicity and religion have been important elements of the campaigns,” he noted in the statement.
Writing further, the PGF DG emphasized that the good thing is that President Buhari is not in denial of Nigeria’s security challenges, just as he admitted the economic situation and hardship in the country.
“Consequently, there appears to be some disconnect between politics and the need to unite Nigerians to work together to address the nation’s security challenges. Opposition politicians and their supporters are unreceptive to efforts to mobilise Nigerians to forge strong unity towards ending insecurity in the country.
“It is therefore a good mark of leadership, notwithstanding the desperate grandstanding politics for 2023 by PDP and its supporters for President Buhari to acknowledge that Nigeria is passing through period of momentous challenges. No doubt President Buhari is not in denial of Nigeria’s security challenges. “Acknowledging the challenges is indicative of the commitment of President Buhari and by extension APC leaders to end the problem of insecurity facing the country,” he wrote.
He also argued that despite the false narrative; “quite some significant progresses have been achieved. A major gap being exploited by the opposition against the APC and the federal government is that official communication both from the APC and the federal government are passive and reactive. Efforts to engage Nigerians to secure citizens’ ownership of policy initiatives is quite low.
“Consequently, political opposition in the country is succeeding to take good advantage of this reality to unfairly portray both the APC and President Buhari in bad light. Partly because of the domineering influence of the negative publicity by opposition politicians against the APC, unfortunate activities of armed bandits, insurgents and criminal elements in the country are mischievously being presented as confirmation of failure of APC led federal government.
“False narrative against APC and President Buhari are being promoted, suggesting that criminal activities of bandits only started when APC took control of the Federal Government in 2015. In addition, APC is being alleged to have failed in ending Boko Haram insurgency,” he further argued in the statement.