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Probe Kogi gov’s link to imported military equipment, PDP tasks Presidency

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THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Saturday, said that the linking of the exposed illegal importation of military equipment to the All Progressive Congress (APC) interests, particularly in Kogi State, is revealing and places a heavy question at the doorsteps of the Presidency and the ruling party.

It, therefore, demanded for an open inquest into the alleged involvement of Governor Yahaya Bello.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, the PDP said Nigerians have been wondering how weapons and other military equipment get into the hands of marauders, who have been ravaging the nation, adding that this discovery could be an unfolding clue for which an open investigation must be conducted.

It also expressed fears that the development could be part of the alleged plot by the APC to compromise the nation’s security system and set the stage for the intimidation of Nigerians during the 2019 general election to push their desperate but ill-fated re-election bid.

The leading opposition party also tasked the Presidency and military high command to immediately come out with explanations to Nigerians on how APC’s Governor  Bello allegedly secured the permission to import military equipment, an action that is exclusively under the purview of the Presidency and the military.

The statement added: “From the reports so far, it appears that we are now having a clue on how weapons and other military equipment being used by marauders and criminals to ravage and murder our citizens are illegally sneaked into the country and by which interest.”

In another development, the PDP called on the Nigerian military not to allow itself to be dragged into partisan politics, “particularly the politics being played with the patriotic call by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government and some of its state governors to desist from endangering the nation’s democracy.”

The party maintained that Ekweremadu’s call remained timely, patriotic and not inimical to the military or the nation.

According to a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Ologbodiyan, in Abuja, the party said it watched the full video of Senator Ekweremadu’s contribution on the floor of the Senate several times and saw nothing that could have warranted the statement issued by the Defence Headquarters on the matter.

The party faulted the Defence Headquarter’s claim that Ekweremadu’s “statement may appear cautionary and sincere in the atmosphere of discourse, it is however, derogatory to the army used in the expression and by extension to the armed forces of Nigeria.”

The party said: “The PDP holds the institution of the Nigerian military in high esteem and we advise that it should not allow itself to be dragged into desperate attempts by the failed APC administration to criminalise every contrary view or attempt to call it to order.

“Every student of Nigeria’s history knows that executive excesses such as sponsored political violence, intimidation of opposition and dissent voices, human rights abuses, disrespect for court orders and disregard for the separation of powers and rule of law, as we have today in Nigeria, have always been the bane of the nation’s democracy.

“Nigerians are aware of the numerous flagrant disobedience to court orders by the APC-led administration as well as the harassment, arrest, detention and media trial of perceived political opponents of the government on the flimsiest trumped up charges, while established cases of corruption by the Presidency cabal are swept under the carpet.

“Nigerians now know that some persons and officials linked with APC interests have been playing roles in compromising the security of our nation by smuggling in military equipment for unknown groups ostensibly to carry out evil activities.”

“We hold that this is a very critical matter and as a pro-people party, committed to the well being of Nigerians, urge the Presidency and the military to quickly offer explanations to Nigerians on who issued the end user certificate for the importation of the said military equipment into our country.”

The PDP therefore demanded an open forensic investigation “so that Nigerians will know the truth.”

The statement further said: “Nigerians need to know where the military gadgets were sourced from and who purchased them? They need to know who issued the end user certification for the importation and, if they are not for the military, then who is the actual end user and where is the intended final destination?

“Furthermore, we want an open inquest into the alleged involvement of Governor Yahaya Bello and his aides in this matter. What is their interest in the illegal cargo? Do Kogi officials run a militia or are they involved in an illegal trafficking for a wider political interest in the APC? How long have they been in this illegal business and what is the volume of deals so far?”

The party called on all well-meaning individuals and groups as well as the international community to note this development and join forces in ensuring that the nation gets to the root of the matter

The post Probe Kogi gov’s link to imported military equipment, PDP tasks Presidency appeared first on Tribune.

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