By Emmanuel Aziken
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC were on Sunday night engaged in a war of words over the successful rescue of an American citizen held in captivity on Nigerian soil.
The PDP described it as another low for the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s failures in security management, saying it smacked of lack of confidence that another country would come into Nigeria to rescue her citizen putting to question the fate of many Nigerians held in captivity by several kidnappers.
The APC on its part rebuked the PDP saying that it was under the previous administration that 276 Chibok School girls were abducted with scant concern.
In its reaction to the rescue of Philip Watson on the orders of President Donald Trump, the PDP in the statement issued by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondinyan said:
“The swift operation by the United States to rescue her citizen held hostage by bandits on Nigerian soil has further confirmed that the Buhari Presidency can neither secure the territorial integrity of our nation nor arrest the wave of insecurity ravaging our country under its inept watch.
“The party describes the situation where the United State had to come on our soil to pull a rescue, as an international embarrassment and shows how low the Buhari Presidency had fallen in its failure to guarantee the safety of lives and property in our country.
“Moreover, the fact that under President Muhammadu Buhari, bandits and abductors from neighboring countries now freely cross into our nation to use our soil as detention camps further shows the failure of his administration to secure our national borders and territorial integrity.
“It also shows that contrary to claims by the Buhari administration, parts of our country are still under the control of bandits and insurgents.
“It is indeed grossly disconcerting that under our Commander-in-Chief, a general, who had consistently promised to lead from the front, it took a foreign country to come on our soil to rescue their citizen, while hordes of our citizens are reportedly being held, tortured and killed in various kidnappers’ and insurgents’ dens in various parts of our nation.
“Our party recalls that earlier in April, Nigeria was equally embarrassed by reports of how the Chadian President Idris Deby, personally led his troops to rout out insurgents and freed Nigerian territories and soldiers held captive by terrorists in northern part of Borno state, while our leaders recede into the safety and comfort of Aso Presidential Villa.
“The fact that other countries with competent and determined leadership have successfully dislodged and vanquished bandits on our soil highlight the incompetence, lack of honesty and want of will power on the part of the Buhari administration to effectively secure our nation.
“The exploits of these countries on our soil only go to show that the bandits, vandals, kidnappers, insurgents are not invincible but have been allowed to take hold of our nation due to the failures of the Buhari administration.
“Nevertheless, our party commends and immensely values the courage and sacrifices of our gallant troops who are daily risking their lives in the front to safeguard our nation against the insurgents despite the challenges they face.
Responding, the APC through its spokesman, Yekini Nabena flayed the opposition party for allegedly playing politics with national security and rubbished Nigeria’s security services.
“The PDP again chooses to play politics with our national security in its tired, baseless and dull attacks of the President Muhammadu Buhari government.
“The PDP should explain to Nigerians how its immediate-past administration handled the 2014 abduction of 276 Chibok schoolgirls. To refresh the PDP’s memory, former British prime minister, David Cameron in his book, For the Record, said the Goodluck Jonathan PDP government was “sleeping on the wheel” when the schoolgirls were abducted.
“It is on record that the PDP government did nothing for two weeks after the Chibok schoolgirls abductions dismissing it as a grand political conspiracy while the schoolgirls were continually held and their families suffered in anguish.
“While the PDP still refuses to take responsibility for the tragedy up till now, the same PDP government rejected the British offer to help in the rescue of the Chibok schoolgirls.
“Combating terrorism and other emerging cross border crimes require international collaborations and assistance when necessary.
“As Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria’s Armed Forces, President Buhari swore a constitutional oath to protect the lives and property of citizens. The president has consistently demonstrated that resolve throughout his administration. President Buhari’s reactions and actions after the similar and unfortunate Dapchi schoolgirls kidnapping is a pointer to how a responsive government should act.”