The presidential hopeful of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, says he welcomes whatever reasonable measures the Federal Government takes to end to the needless loss of lives and property in Zamfara and Katsina states, but warns that imposing an emergency rule in the two states can only address the symptoms rather than the cause of the current security crisis facing the North-West states.
Reacting to the call by Governor Abdul-Aziz Yari for the imposition of a state of emergency in Zamfara State, Atiku said in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, that a fundamental solution must be sought to the crisis to ensure lasting peace.
The statement said the deal being struck between the Federal Government and the governors of Zamfara and Katsina states reflected the desperation of the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government to ‘’capture’’ the states at all cost during next month’s general elections.
“The deal, cut at a meeting in the Presidential Villa in Abuja, is simple: The Federal Government will impose a state of emergency in Zamfara, to provide a window for the APC to field a candidate for the governorship election in the state having failed to do so within the time frame stipulated by the (Independent National Electoral) Commission,’’ Shaibu said in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, adding that “everything that is required for this manipulation has been provided by the leadership of the party.”
Atiku said the implication of the plot was that even President Buhari, ‘for all his sweet words on ensuring free and fair elections and avoiding unethical measures to win at all cost,’ was ready to do anything just to ‘’capture’’ Zamfara and Katsina states for his party.
The PDP presidential candidate, however, said although the plot was meant to put his party at a disadvantage, the ‘PDP would not lose any sleep over the ignoble deal, since the battle to rescue Nigeria from incompetence and bad leadership would be fought by the people themselves and not by the Governor of Zamfara or President Buhari’s hatchet men.’
Atiku said the state of emergency would simply result in more militarisation of the affected areas, more roadblocks and the constriction of the civil liberties of the people, adding that unless legitimate and more far-reaching measures were adopted for common good, the perpetrators of the crisis would simply leave the affected areas and move to other areas to continue their dastardly act.
He called on Governor Yari to resign since he had confessed to his failure to protect the security of lives and property of the people of the state.
“In other climes, Governor Yari would have gone ahead to address the people of Zamfara State who elected him into office to let them know that he is incapable of protecting them, instead of merely calling on the President to declare a state of emergency in the state.
“There is no need for any expanded argument or unnecessary debate on what is apt at this moment. Heavens will not fall if Governor Yari resigns since he won’t be the first governor to do so, as Robert J. Walker, Governor of Kansas in the USA resigned as far back as 1857 under similar circumstance after confessing to his inability to preserve the peace or promote public welfare of his people.”