By Dirisu Yakubu
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Wednesday, charged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to take responsibility for the shooting and reported killing of peaceful and unarmed young protesters allegedly by military operatives at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos on Tuesday night.
The PDP in a statement issued by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the burden of responsibility for the tragedy lies with President Buhari as “Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and the buck stops on his table.”
“Our party is shocked at President Buhari 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 statement read in part.
According to the major opposition country in the land, “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 we are witnessing today, adding that “our once united, viable, resilient and cohesive nation handed over to President Buhari in 2015 is fast collapsing in his hands.”
The statement further read: “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.
“The All Progressives Congress, APC and its agents in government circles 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.
“Furthermore, the unexplained dismantling of security cameras and lights at the Lekki Tollgate 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.
“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 good governance.
“The PDP recalls 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.
“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 condoling with families of the victims of the senseless shootings, the party called on President Buhari to speak up on the state of the nation under his watch and command.