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CAN to Buhari: Suspend troops’ withdrawal from troubled spots

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..As PDP condemns Kogi massacre

..Charges Buhari to end carnage

The Christian Association of Nigeria has kicked against the planned withdrawal of troops from troubled regions by the Federal Government.

President of the organisation, Supo Ayokunle, expressed the body’s disagreement with the plan on Sunday in Yola, Adamawa State, while inaugurating a N115million secretariat of the association, describing it as a “policy somersault”.

He said, “I call on President Muhammadu Buhari to abandon his planned withdrawal of troops from troubled regions. I see it as a policy somersault.”

Chairman of CAN in the state, Bishop Stephen Dami Mamza, while lauding government’s efforts in the fight against insurgency, urged the military to do more.

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had  last Friday reassured Nigerians that withdrawal of the military from areas where peace had been restored will not be done in a manner that will expose communities to more risks of attacks.

The President said the withdraw exercise would be gradual and carefully planned, not abrupt or arbitrary to jeopardise the success already recorded by the military.

Reacting to concerns and appeals from governors and community leaders over the proposed withdrawal, Buhari said the “administration will not abandon citizens in need of protection.”

He urged Nigerians, especially public affairs analysts, to carefully study the statement following a security council meeting with service chiefs that the withdrawal of troops will be done after an “assessment” to determine areas where peace had returned to enable civil authorities assume full control.

Buhari said where it is determined that the withdrawal will not in any way jeopardize peace already achieved, the military pull out will be in a careful and gradual way. You don’t need to worry. We will not expose our people and their communities to harm or danger,” the President assured.

“The withdrawal is to allow the military focus on its primary duty of defending the nation against external aggression. It is the duty of the police to handle internal security since Nigeria is not at war.

“The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps will support the police to provide internal security. When it is time to withdraw, nothing will be rushed,’’ he added according to a statement to Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity)CAN said it would rather assist the Boko  Haram and other insurgents to attack the innocent citizens.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday condemned the killing of about 23 innocent Nigerians by marauders in Tawari Community in Kogi State as dastardly and completely unacceptable.

Warning the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration not to reduce the office of President Muhammadu Buhari to issuing of press releases and condolences message, PDP said that the nation cannot afford to continue to be a large funeral parlor.

The party, has, however, urged President Buhari to live up to his billings and take a decisive step to end the prevalent killing and bloodletting in the country instead of resorting to issuing pointless press releases and condolence messages without corresponding action to end the scourge.

The PDP, in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan noted that the invasion of the helpless Tawari community and the killing spree, which reportedly lasted unrepressed for several hours, despite earlier security apprehensions in the area, points to government’s direct negligence to its primary duty to protect the people.

The PDP blamed the unabated killing and violence in various parts of the country on security lapses under the present administration as well as the alleged manifest failure of the President Buhari-led administration to decisively track down and prosecute killers and perpetrators of violence in the country.

“Our party recalls that no decisive steps have been taken to prosecute the perpetrators of mass killings that shook our nation in Benue, Kaduna, Katsina, Bauchi, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara, Kano, Niger, Rivers, Ebonyi, Abia and of course Kogi state, under the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.

“It is indeed disheartening that the APC administration is now trying to reduce the functions of the office of the Commander-in Chief of our nation to issuing press releases and condolences message each time marauders invade communities and massacre defenseless compatriots, instead of tracking down and dealing with the perpetrators.

“Such failures by government embolden killers, insurgents, marauders and kidnappers who have now virtually taken over our highways and holding citizens hostage in their homes, forests and caves,” the party said.

Demanding an immediate step to end wanton killings and bloodletting in our country, PDP said, “our nation cannot afford to continue to be a large funeral palour and a country where citizens have to contend daily with the fear and pain of death.

“Our party therefore charges President Buhari to brace up, heed the cries of Nigerians and immediately rejig his security architecture by injecting new blood into the system.

While commending the patriotism of the gallant troops in the front, the PDP insisted that the security administration must be rejigged to ensure an effective confrontation of the security reality across the nation.

The party commiserated with the victims and families of those killed in the Tawari attack and bloodlettings in other parts of the country, calling on security agencies in the state to beef up security in the areas as well as take up the challenge to track down the killers.

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