The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has been insensitive in its handling of the abduction of over 300 schoolboys in Katsina State.
In a statement on Tuesday by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said the APC and its governments have not shown concern for the well-being of Nigerians.
The opposition party also criticised President Muhammadu Buhari for visiting his cattle ranch in Daura, instead of visiting the families of the abducted students.
Hundreds of students remain missing after they were abducted by gunmen on motorbikes on December 11. Some of the schoolboys escaped from the gunmen on the night of the attack.
The Nigerian terrorist group, Boko Haram, on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the abductions.
The development has raised concerns that the group may be expanding its terror campaign to other regions, with neighbouring north-wester states, Jigawa, Kano and Zamfara, announcing the closure of schools.
The Nigerian authorities have yet to respond to Boko Haram’s claim. However, the Katsina State governor on Monday said he had begun negotiating with the kidnappers.
In the statement by Mr Ologbondiyan, the PDP called out the APC for ascribing the abductions to bandits instead of Boko Haram, which has claimed responsibility.
The PDP said the situation raises concerns on the integrity of the APC-led federal government.
The PDP added that “by not impressing it on President Muhammadu Buhari to cut short his unnecessary holiday & make efforts to rescue the abducted students, the APC has again shown that it is a part of ‘political bandits’, which has no iota of concern for the wellbeing of Nigerians.
“Indeed, the preference for the welfare of Mr President’s cattle over the safety of our young students, who are now languishing in their abductors’ den, foregrounds APC’s disdain for Nigerians, for which it should never be entrusted with governance at any level in future.
“Our party and, indeed, discerning Nigerians are not surprised that the APC, as a party, has not forcefully condemned the kidnapping of the students even as it has not raised any strong voice against the recent gruesome killing of 43 farmers in Borno State by terrorists.
“Rather, the APC has tacitly supported the insensitive comment by the Buhari Presidency, which blamed the slain farmers instead of taking steps to apprehend the assailants.
“Our party charges the APC to come clean on this manifest conspiracy of silence as such silence, in the face of horrific killing and kidnapping of innocent Nigerians, only points to the complicity of its leaders.
“Moreover, the admission by a terrorist group of being responsible for the Kankara abduction, after the APC government in the state had informed the public that bandits were responsible and that it was already in contact with the said bandits, raises critical questions on the integrity of the claims by the APC government.”
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