No-Fly Zone: PDP Alleges Plot To Impose State Of Emergency In Zamfara
ABUJA — Following the Federal Government’s declaration of Zamfara State as a no-fly zone, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and its government of a plot to forcefully take over governance in Zamfara through the imposition of a state of emergency in the state.
As a result of the recent abduction of students of Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Jangebe, President Muhammadu Buhari declared Zamfara a no-fly zone as part of measures to crush bandits operating in the state.
Addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, the party rejected the alleged attempt by the APC administration to undermine and subvert the democratic order in Zamfara State by creating the impression that the state government, under Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle, is to blame for the failures of the APC-led Federal Government to contain insecurity in the state.
Addressing newsmen, the spokesman of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “It is instructive to recall that the plot by the APC to derail the Matawalle administration and forcefully take over the control of the state started immediately after the Supreme Court handed him victory in the Zamfara State governorship election, a plot which heightened after Governor Matawalle refused the pressure to decamp to the APC.
“Nigerians can recall that our party had on December 19, 2020, issued a statement to alert of plots by the National Caretaker Committee of the APC, using an impostor as spokesperson, to heighten insecurity in the North-West part of our country.
“The PDP had, in that statement, further alerted of conspiracies by the APC to use the said impostor to destabilise North-West states, particularly Zamfara, by creating the space for acts of violence and blame it on Governor Matawalle.
“Our party had also expressed concerns on series of devious statements against Governor Matawalle by the APC, a party that has been exposed to be encouraging acts of terrorism, banditry and kidnapping in our country.”
The party invited Nigerians to further note how the APC had been quiet over disturbing videos, which had gone viral, showing self-confessed bandits admitting their fury of being abandoned by the APC after the party used them to muscle the 2015 and 2019 elections.
“Equally disturbing is the attempt by some APC leaders, who are masquerading under extraneous organisations, to seek political capital out of the situation in Zamfara State, which escalated due to the failures and compromises of the APC-led administration,” the party said.
The PDP demanded that the APC should leave Governor Matawalle alone and take up their responsibility of confronting bandits, terrorists, kidnappers and vandals, particularly those they brought from other countries.
The party insisted that the statutory onus, under democracy, is on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government to secure lives and property in all parts of Nigeria, including Zamfara State.
“It is further instructive to state that the Matawalle administration adopted an intervention approach as a distressed measure following the manifest failures of the Buhari presidency to guarantee the security of lives and property in the state.
“It is on record that Governor Matawalle is not the first governor, particularly in the North-West, to adopt such an approach in the face of the huge incapacity of the Buhari administration to save lives.
“More so, there is escalated banditry, terrorism, kidnapping and other forms of violent acts in APC controlled states of the North-West, like Kaduna and Katsina, in the North-East of Borno and Yobe as well as the North-Central states of Niger, Nasarawa, Plateau and Kogi, yet no attempt has been made by the Buhari presidency to intimidate the governors of the various states, seek to impose a state of emergency or declare such states as no-fly zone.
“It is even more worrisome that the Buhari presidency will gloss over Kaduna, Niger, and Mr. President’s home state of Katsina, where killings, kidnapping and abductions have become a daily routine, only to be contemplating an emergency situation in Zamfara,” the party said.
The PDP counselled that rather than this selective approach to fighting banditry, terrorism and kidnapping, the Buhari presidency should go back to the drawing board and adopt a holistic approach to quell the prevailing insecurity in the nation.
“Our party will therefore not allow the Buhari presidency to tag and intimidate Governor Matawalle for seeking to find solutions to a very depressing situation.
“Consequently, the PDP hereby directs Governor Matawalle to stop his intervention approach as our party charges Nigerians to hold President Buhari and his administration directly responsible for any further assault or killing of innocent citizens in Zamfara State,” the party said.
The PDP charged President Buhari to be mindful of the type of advice he receives from his officials in the security circle concerning Zamfara State, especially as there were allegations of hidden interest among his officials.
“President Buhari may wish to recall the allegations in the public space of alleged complicity by his National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Babagana Monguno, in the unfortunate situation in Zamfara State, over which our party had called for investigation.”
ACF Asks Buhari To Declare Benue, Taraba, Borno No-Fly Zones
Meanwhile, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare Benue, Taraba and Borno states no-fly zones.
Commenting on the development, Audu Ogbeh, chairman of the ACF, said there are rumours that aircraft “frequently drop arms for bandits and insurgents” operating in the aforementioned states.
Ogbeh said the extended ban will curtail criminal activities in the areas.
He also congratulated the Zamfara State government on the safe release of the Jangebe girls.
“Arewa Consultative Forum congratulates the people and government of Zamfara State on the safe release of the kidnapped schoolgirls from the Government Girls Secondary School in the state,” the statement reads.
“We are also happy with the Federal Government’s decision to ban flights in the state.
“We also plead with the government to extend the ban to other states like Benue, Taraba, Borno where there are rumours that helicopters frequently drop arms for bandits and insurgents operating in these states.
“We believe that such an extended ban will curtail the operations of the criminals in these areas.”
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