*Tasks Masari to come clean on connection with bandits
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has charged the Buhari Presidency to immediately respond to comments by the Chairman of Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, that the Buhari administration’s under-funding of the military was responsible for the persistent insecurity challenges in the nation under its watch.
The opposition party has also asked Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina state to come clean on his alleged connections with marauders and bandits ravaging his state, following his attempt to politicize the issue by claiming that opposition elements were behind the banditry in the state.
The party in a statement by the National Publicity Secretar0y, Kola Ologbondiyan, described as worrisome, the comments by Senator Ndume, who on a national television on Tuesday night, restated his position that the Buhari administration was not adequately funding the military.
The PDP noted that Senator Ndume’s comments placed a huge burden of explanation at the doorstep of the Buhari Presidency, which had failed on all fronts to secure the nation, leading to the escalation of banditry, insurgency, kidnapping and other acts of violence in various parts of the country.
The opposition party said “it is equally distressing that President Muhammadu Buhari had failed to lead from the front as he promised in addition to failure to heed the demands by Nigerians to change his service chiefs and inject new blood into the nation’s security architecture.”
The PDP, in berating Governor Masari, expressed concerns that the governor resorted to playing politics with the lives of Nigerians in Katsina state by blaming imaginary political rivals, when it is public knowledge that he knows the bandits and have been having dealings with them.
The party observed that Governor Marasi’s comments had also escalated public apprehension over his government’s alleged complicity in the banditry ravaging the state.
The party further stated that Nigerians can recall that Governor Masari reportedly have some connections with the bandits and even held a much publicized ceasefire agreement meeting with them in September 2019, where the bandits reportedly stated that their grievance was alleged maltreatment by authorities in Katsina state.
It added that Nigerians could also recall that Governor Masari, in June 2020, announced that his peace agreement with the bandits had collapsed because, according to him, the bandits breached the agreement which his administration had with them.
The opposition party urged Governor Masari to come clean on his connections with the bandits and stop pointing the finger at imagined political rivals, apparently to divert public attention from deeper issues relating to banditry in his state.
The party also urged security agencies not to be distracted by Governor Masari’s comments, which were ostensibly to cover for his failures in ensuring security in the state.
The PDP counseled Governor Masari to look for excuses elsewhere as no opposition group was behind the banditry in the state or any part of the country for that matter.