Members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have been accused of masterminding the abduction of women and children in some part of the country under the guise of Boko Haram.
The Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism (CATE) in Nigeria, which made this claim, observed that these attacks have changed from what was the norm to now exclusively target military formations, ambush troops and sack towns and villages along the path of the terrorists.
Jonathan Audu, Secretary General of the group while addressing the media on Wednesday, alleged that there was an established pattern of the attacks taking place once the opposition is running out of steam and issues to tackle the government on.
According to him, this raises the suspicion that the PDP may know more than it admits in public, considering its constant attacks on the government.
Full text of his statement after the press conference below…
It is with utmost dread that the Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism (CATE) in Nigeria confirms to you that is in possession of intelligence that the PDP in the north east, under the direction of its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abbaukar, has unleashed their thugs to act as Boko Haram fighters. The objective of this criminal move is for the thugs to slip into areas where the military has successfully carried out clearance operations so that they can carry out attacks that would be used to rubbish the claim of success against Boko Haram as announced by the military.
Analyses show that the thugs reporting to PDP are the ones that have diverted to the killing and kidnapping of innocent women and children and make it appear like the handiwork of Boko Haram. We were made to understand that this tactic allows the PDP to have instances it can use to accuse the federal government of allowing civilians to be killed.
The party is also said to have opted for this approach because it hopes to use the fear of violence to keep people away from the polling units so that they do not get to vote because of the fear of violence.
According to the intelligence we have received, the PDP will spread this campaign of terror further south as the elections draw closer. The objective is to make every inch of the country feel unsafe or Nigerians so that they can be deceived into thinking that the incumbent president has failed in securing their lives and property.
CATE unequivocally condemns this irresponsible act of the PDP whereby it is deploying its thugs to imitate Boko Haram attacks with a view to using it to criticize the government of the day. It is the most inhumane form of deception every carried out by humans on earth especially when it involves abusing human lives and depriving people of their lives.
We demand that the PDP immediately retrace its steps and discontinue these attacks because they violate the rights of other citizens. The party must also hand over to law enforcement agencies those that conceived this idea, those that implemented it and those that are aware of the plot without doing anything to stop it. The moderate elements in the PDP must give up those responsible for this evil so that they can distances themselves and the party from the bad eggs among them.
Nigerians should take the PDP to task. They should insist that the party come clean and explain to the nation how it allowed thugs to be recruited in its name to impersonate Boko Haram fighters. Where this party fails to comply, Nigerians should punish it as they deem fit because the safety of citizens is above the interest of one political party.
The international community should note the extent the PDP is willing to go to in its desperation to win elections. What the PDP has done violated several international instruments and it should be held to account. When the relevant international agencies are dealing with this issue, it is then up to the PDP to give up those that are directly responsible for what can best be described as copycat terrorism.