Killings: PDP condemns arrest of Katsina protest leaders

By Myke Uzendu, Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday raised concerns over the arrest of organizers of a peaceful protests against the unchecked mass killing by bandits and insurgents in Katsina and other parts of the country, particularly in the north by the federal government.

The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan described as absurd, that government would arrest, harass and detain victims of the bandits but chose to negotiate, hobnob with and even pay money to the assailants.

“This arrest further raises demands for the APC and its governors, particularly, those who openly confessed to have had contacts, negotiations and financial dealing with the bandits, to come clean on their alleged links with insurgents and marauders.

“Such actions by the APC administration, in addition to utterances of its leaders, have continued to dishearten Nigerians while emboldening bandits and insurgents to continue to pillage our communities, hold towns to ransom and visit all manner of violence on vulnerable Nigerians in various parts of the country” the party stated.

The PDP also recalled the utterances by certain APC leaders, asking victims of attacks not to revenge even in the face of poor security presence as well as admission by government that the marauders were mercenaries from the Sahel region and armed deserters from late Muammah Gadaffi’s Libya.

The PDP reminded Nigerians that the APC and its leaders are yet to explain the whereabouts of the thugs they imported as political mercenaries from neighboring countries, particularly Chad and Niger Republic to support the party’s bid during the build-up to the 2019 general elections.

The party lamented that the situation in Katsina and other northern states ought to be seen by the Buhari administration as a patriotic call to wake up to its responsibilities and take a decisive action to flush out the bandits and secure the nation.

The PDP counseled President Muhammadu Buhari to go beyond endless meetings within the comfort of the Aso Presidential villa and, for once, lead from the front in the fight against insurgency and banditry in the country.

About 100 Katsina residents have lost their lives to bandits in the last seven days and over 3,500 families displaced and their houses burnt down by the marauders. This situation forced some Northern youths to stage a peaceful protest last week to the government house, to express their frustration over the inability of security agencies to secure their lives and properties.

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