By Tunde Opalana
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has charged the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to take responsibility for the shooting and reported killing of peaceful and unarmed young protesters by military operatives at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos on Tuesday night, Daily Times gathered.
The party insisted that the buck stops on President Buhari’s table. as the Commander in Chief of the armed forces.
It demanded that President Buhari speaks out on the sorry state of the nation under his watch and command, adding that his administration has assaulted the foundations of Nigeria’s nationhood and he should accept responsibility.
The PDP said it was shocked at President Buhari’s stance, particularly his inability to demonstrate the capacity for concerned, attentive and proactive governance and command structure, while the nation he presides over dangerously slides into anarchy.
The party believed that a well-structured governance response from Mr. President, as the father of the nation, would have calmed frayed nerves and averted the crisis, violence, deaths, destruction of property and the avoidable loses the nation witnesses.
National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan on Wednesday said it is indeed “heartrending that our once united, viable, resilient and cohesive nation handed over to President Buhari in 2015 is fast collapsing in his hands.
“In countries where presidents are alive to the demands of their offices, the country would not be in turmoil with citizens being murdered in cold blood as witnessed in our country in the last 48 hours, yet the citizenry cannot find their president or Prime Minister coming out personally to offer consolation, provide direction and give hope.
“Moreover, the video showing police vans and vehicles belonging to other security agencies bringing in and coordinating armed thugs to attack peaceful protesters in Abuja points to serious complicity in high places
“Furthermore, the unexplained dismantling of security cameras and lights at the Lekki Toll gate before military operatives opened fire on peaceful protesters, further points to high-level conspiracy against Nigerians.
“Such unleashing of terror against peaceful demonstrators exposes a dangerous recourse to barefaced brutality, violence and killing to suppress and subjugate the Nigerian people”.
Blaming the APC and government officials for the unease silence over the crisis, the PDP said leadership of the ruling party had kept mute over reports in the public space that they are behind the deployment of the armed thugs to infiltrate peaceful protests and perpetrate acts of violence so as to discredit the demonstration and justify their attacks on protesters; a development that had led to escalation of restiveness in various parts of our country.
“Today, under the APC, our streets are stained with the blood of our promising young ones. Our highways have been turned into battlegrounds where thugs and security operatives mow down citizens and destroy property with reckless abandon.
“Painfully, every command structure that engenders good governance appears to have collapsed and life is gradually returning to the Hobbes “State of Nature” under a system that has gained notoriety for human rights abuse, killings and deploying of security operatives, thugs, vandals and bandits to assault Nigerians whenever they come out to demand for good governance”, said the party.
The PDP recalled how, in December 2019, “thugs were brought in trailers to unleash violence on Nigerians who were at National Human Rights Commission office in Abuja on peaceful protest against series of human rights abuses in the country”.
It said till today, the APC-led Federal Government has not explained how a police helicopter was deployed to assault voters in the November 2019 Kogi state governorship election as well as the deployment of thugs to burn a woman leader, Mrs. Salome Abuh to death.
While it condoled with the victims of this ugly situation, the party restates belief in a stable, united and indivisible Nigeria and urge all compatriots not to allow the misrule of the APC to divide or make them lose faith in our nation.