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PDP, Atiku condemn Kagara abduction



The Peoples Democratic Party on Wednesday expressed worry over the spate of abduction in the country.

It particularly condemned the killing of a student and kidnapping of 42 other persons at the Government Science Secondary School, Kagara, Niger states by bandits.

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, also called on the Federal Government to rise to the occasion and defend Nigerians from assault by bandits and kidnappers.

The PDP in a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, urged security forces to rescue the schoolchildren unhurt.

The statement read in part, “Nigerians were jolted by Tuesday’s coordinated bandit attacks, kidnapping and killings in several communities in Niger state.

“Bandits were reported to have on Tuesday, moved from village to village, supported by a helicopter, as they pillaged our compatriots, sacked major highways and held communities in Niger State hostage for several hours without any counter attack.

“The PDP describes as revealing that while the people of Niger state and Nigerians in other states were under attack by bandits, All Progressives Congress, APC leaders, including those in Niger state, were busy pursuing their party’s phony membership re-registration exercise, instead of rallying security and rescue efforts for the people.

“The lethargic stance of the APC administration towards the fight against banditry further validates reports in the public space that the bandits are connected to the APC and enjoying cover under the ruling party.

“This probably explains why the APC never raised a strong voice against what has become a national calamity. Instead, APC leaders are patronizing the bandits and making excuses for them.

“The public space is awash with reports that many of these bandits terrorizing Nigerians were political mercenaries brought in by the APC from neighbouring countries to help it enforce the rigging of the 2019 elections, but which the APC and its leaders failed to settle after the elections, leaving them to unleash their frustrations on innocent Nigerians.

“Our party charges the APC to speak out on these reports and take immediate steps to settle their political mercenaries, return them to wherever they brought them from and bring an end to these gruesome attacks on Nigerians. “While commiserating with the victims of the Niger attacks, the PDP tasks the security forces to go after the bandits as well as rescue the Kagara school children before any harm comes upon them.”

Meanwhile, Atiku has also condemned the Kagara abduction, saying in a statement he personally signed that “the spate of insecurity in Nigeria is now beyond alarming. It has got to crisis levels, especially when it involves children and other minors.”

He said, “Now is not the time for fingers to point in blame. Our nation needs solutions. And we have now seen that paying ransoms and allowing criminals to profit from their criminality is not a solution. When you reward crimes, the end result is more crime.

“The only long term solution to the insecurity challenge Nigeria is facing is to end the reign of impunity. The Federal Government must enforce the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against abductions and kidnappings, by apprehending the criminals, trying them and making an example of those convicted, to serve as a deterrent to others.

“Also, we must be proactive. We cannot wait for these abductions to happen and then go into reactive mode.

“I therefore call on the Federal Government to declare all secondary and primary schools in the affected states and zones,  as federal protected zones, and post armed military personnel at all schools for 24/7 protection.

“If it is not feasible to have armed military guards in all schools, then each state should as a matter of urgency replicate the civilian Joint Task Force idea that has worked so well in Borno, and deploy them to each school, along with men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

“What we must not do is do nothing. History may forgive us for making wrong decisions, but we will never be forgiven if we carry on business as usual.

“As a nation, we must be willing to provide the same level of security that we provide for the schools that the children of the elite attend, for schools that the children of other classes of Nigerians attend.”

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No one can displace me in Osun APC, says Aregbesola



former Governor of Osun State and Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, says that no one can displace him from the All Progressives Congress in the state.

He said his pedigree would be difficult for anyone to achieve and warned the leadership of the party not to allow just anyone who just registered with the APC to ascend mantle of leadership of the party.

A statement issued by the minister’s spokesperson, Sola Fasure, stated that the Aregbesola while addressing party members after revalidating his membership in Ilesa at the weekend, said since his emergence as the governorship candidate in the state about 17 years ago, he had consolidated on progressives ideals.

He acknowledged the rights of every Nigerian to register as member of the APC and cautioned the party leadership in the state not give sensitive roles to those with questionable character so as not to derail the party from its achieving its objectives.

Aregbesola said, “It will be difficult for those who lack my pedigree to displace me in the party in the state. Since my emergence in Osun on the Oranmiyan platform 17 years ago, and with others, we fought the agents of darkness and regression and firmly consolidated the party in the state.

“This effort has produced two successive progressive administrations in the state and also won presidential and national legislative elections thrice.

“It is part of the democratic process for all kinds of people, especially from the PDP and other parties, even those with questionable and unedifying past, to cross into the progressive, people-centred party.”

He also said, “However members have a moral duty to ensure that such elements do not occupy leadership positions and use it to subvert and derail the party. We must take into cognisance the concept of internal democracy in the party.

“You all remember that our leader, late Chief Bola Ige led all his life for a compassionate government, commitment to the good of the majority and ideas that would bring the good life, happiness, progress and security to the people.

“You must be conscious of those who continue to dance on Ige’s grave and avoid anything that would dishonour the late stateman’s memory. “I will continue to work towards greater success of the party and I remain more committed to progressive ideals.”

Aregbesola, whose two sons and his wife also revalidated their membership, said President Muhammadu Buhari had resolved to tackle the problems facing the nation, especially insecurity.

He added that President Buhari and the Federal Executive Council were working hard to curtail the myriad of challenges in the country.

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El-Rufai to youths: Shun protest, be part of selection process



Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has urged Nigerians to shun protests and take more active interest in politics, if they really want to contribute to the country’s development.

Speaking when he appeared on ‘Urgent Conversations’, a programme organised by Radio Now 95.3, in partnership with Nextier, and with the support of Channels TV, the governor said protests would not bring about solutions to the problems confronting Nigeria.

El-Rufai asked “good people” in the country to leave the private sector and come into politics to make the county better.

“I am of the view that the reason we have the sort of parties we have now in the republic — the fourth republic — which essentially are platforms rather than ideologically-consistent kind of organisations — was the nature of the emergence of the fourth republic and what happened before,” he said.

“Many people in 1998 did not believe that after the death of late General Abacha, the military would leave. This is because of the endless transition programmes that the country went through, and maybe by then, the better people, the best politicians, the more honest politicians got exhausted and dropped by the wayside.

“But I think the best people in Nigeria, those that really believe that politics should not be about personal interest kept away. Now, once the first set of governors and others went in, it’s very difficult to dislodge them.

“Good people must offer themselves for public service and suffer the indignity that we all suffer. We get abused every day; we get insulted; we get accused, but we must have our best people in public service. We must have our best people in politics. We must not have them in banks, in telecoms companies, in oil companies and in civil societies protesting. Protesting what? Protesting will take you nowhere unless you have a seat at the table and the most important table is that political table.”

He also urged youths to ensure that they embrace politics, but also be patient while contesting for positions, as governance is a process.

“My call to Nigerians is, if you want to see better governance, be part of the selection process of those that offer themselves for public service and politics. And the only way to do so is to join political parties, and be active, and influence the leadership that emerges in the political parties. There is no other way; no shortcut to it,” the governor said.

“The pastors and imams that have made money, the bankers, the telecoms guys, leave that thing, come and make Nigeria work, because if it doesn’t work you will not sleep at night no matter how much money you make. I believe that if we have more and more young people, and we have five million of them attaining the age of 18 every year, they can come and overwhelm the parties and chase out the old men like me and take over.

“But they must come and not stand on the sidelines and keep criticising. Any fool can criticise. Solutions are what this country needs. You can only propose these solutions, fight for them if you are in the system.

“I have said this before and I will say it again. Young people think that because the not-too-young-to-run bill has been passed and they join a political party yesterday, they will go for elections tomorrow. It doesn’t work that way. You must not come into any organisation with a sense of entitlement. We are all young too. We worked through the ladder to get to where we are.”

El-Rufai also called for “aggressive reduction” of the cost of governance, just as he insisted on the immediate need for state police.


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Junaid Mohammed, 2nd republic lawmaker, dies



Junaid Mohammed, a lawmaker in the second republic, is dead.

Mohammed, a medical doctor, died on Thursday in Kano.

When TheCable visited his residence on Thursday night, a family member confirmed the incident.

According to the relative, the former lawmaker reportedly died at an isolation centre, but was not positive for the coronavirus.

He was one of the founding members of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) in 1976 under the leadership of the late Aminu Kano.

He also served as the national deputy chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the north-west.

In October 2018, he was selected as running mate to Donald Duke, presidential candidate of the SDP.

He was known to be very outspoken about political matters, and usually spared no words in his criticism of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

In one of his recent interviews before his death, he had accused Buhari of not basing appointments on merit.

The former lawmaker was responding to a comment by Matthew Kukah, Catholic bishop of Sokoto. Kukah had accused Buhari of nepotism.

Mohammed agreed with the bishop’s comment, stating that the president had favoured certain sections of the country over others.

“I have to admit that the core issue he raised about nepotism is real, and of course marginalisation of some certain sections of the country is real, and that nepotism is in favour of people that are close to Buhari, particularly his friends, cronies, relations and in-laws. Over 99 percent of the appointments Buhari made were not based on merit,” he had said.


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