BEVERLY HILLS, November 02, (THEWILL) – The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday traded words over the rescue of an American hostage by the United States Special Forces in Nigeria on Saturday.
The United States Government, working with the governments of Niger Republic and Nigeria, had rescued the American citizen, Philip Walton, 27, abducted last week in Niger but held hostage in Nigeria. The daring high-risk U.S. military raid took place early Saturday morning in Sokoto State, according to sources familiar with the operation.
Reacting to the incident, the PDP, in a statement described the situation where the US had to come into the Nigerian territory to pull a rescue, as an international embarrassment and also an indication of how low the Buhari’s administration had fallen in its failure to guarantee the safety of lives and property in the country.
The National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said the fact that under Buhari, bandits and abductors from neighbouring countries now freely cross into Nigeria to use the country as detention camps shows the failure of the Buhari administration to secure the national borders and territorial integrity. He said earlier in April, Nigeria was equally embarrassed by reports of how Chadian President Idris Deby, personally led his troops to rout insurgents and freed Nigerian territories and soldiers held captive by terrorists in northern part of Borno State, while the Nigerian leaders recede into the safety and the comfort of the Presidential Villa.
But in a swift response, the APC accused the PDP of playing politics with national security, describing its latest attack on Buhari as baseless and dull.
In a statement on Sunday by the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena said combating terrorism and other emerging cross border crimes require international collaborations and assistance when necessary. He noted that the president as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces swore a constitutional oath to protect the lives and property of citizens and has consistently demonstrated that resolve throughout his administration.
APC added that Buhari’s reactions and actions after Dapchi schoolgirls’ kidnap was a pointer to how a responsive government should act.
The statement reads: “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a statement on Saturday’s rescue of a kidnapped American citizen in Nigeria by US special forces has decided to rubbish our security services constantly putting their lives on the line to ensure our safety and secure Nigeria’s territorial integrity.
“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-led government was ‘sleeping on the wheel,’ when the schoolgirls were abducted.”
The party said it was 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.
According to the party, 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.