The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of plotting to take over Zamfara State by force, by taking advantage of the security challenges confronting the state.
The PDP made this claim in a statement on Wednesday by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, as Zamfara is being governed by a PDP governor, Bello Matawalle.
There have been series of attacks in the state and of recent, hundreds of students were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, Zamfara State by some bandits before they were released in the early hours of Tuesday.
On the same day, President Muhammadu Buhar-led APC government declared the state a ‘no-fly-zone’ just as it again banned mining activities in the state to curb the rising insecurity.
In reaction to the declaration of ‘no-fly-zone’ in Zamfara, the PDP alleged that the APC-led administration was plotting to impose a state of emergency in the state for political benefits.
“Our party rejects this attempt by power-mongers in the APC administration to undermine and subvert the democratic order in Zamfara State by creating the impression that the state government, under Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle, is to blame for the failures of the APC-led federal government to contain insecurity in the state,” Mr Ologbondiyan said.
“It is instructive to recall that the plot by the APC to derail the Matawalle administration and forcefully take over the control of the state started immediately after the Supreme Court handed him victory in the Zamfara State governorship election; a plot which heightened after Governor Matawalle refused the pressure to decamp to the APC.”
The main opposition party argued that the recent incident in Zamfara ”was an extension of the federal government’s failures to keep its promises to Nigerians.”
It added that the growing cases of banditry, terrorism and kidnap are ”a reflection of the government’s dereliction of its duties to Nigerians, a burden different levels of government should bear.”
“It is even more worrisome that the Buhari presidency will gloss over Kaduna, Niger and Mr President’s home state of Katsina, where killings, kidnapping and abduction have become a daily routine, only to be contemplating an emergency situation in Zamfara.
“The PDP counsels that rather than this selective approach to fighting banditry, terrorism and kidnapping, the Buhari presidency should go back to the drawing board and adopt a holistic approach to quell the prevailing insecurity in our nation.
“Our party will therefore not allow the Buhari presidency to tag and intimidate Governor Matawalle for seeking to find solutions to a very depressing situation,” the party cautioned.
Mr Matawalle, in a statement, had also claimed that ”some people paid the bandits not to release the abducted school girls to discredit his efforts”.
Before the Zamfara incident, at least 27 male students were abducted in Kagara, Niger State three weeks ago, while over 344 students were also whisked away in Kankara, Katsina State late December 2020.
Both Niger and Katsina states are governed by the APC without such pronouncement from the government.