The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration against alleged continued bullying and victimization of citizens as the party salutes all Nigerian workers on the occasion of this year’s Workers Day, for their service towards the stability and development of Nigeria.
The warning came as the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, claimed that 1,071 persons lost their lives in crime-related cases across the country in the first quarter of this year. He made this known during the quarterly Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council meeting held on Tuesday in Kaduna.
Adamu said the crime statistics showed that between January and April, at least 685 persons were kidnapped across the country, pointing out that 767 of the persons killed were from the North.
The North-West, according to the police big boss, topped the death list with 436; North-Central came second with 250; while the South-South geopolitical zone recorded 130 deaths during the period under review.
Adding, he said Zamfara State with 203 murder cases topped the national prevalence rate, Kaduna State followed closely with 112 reported cases while 90 people were killed in Benue State, claiming that most of the murder cases recorded in the North are linked to banditry and communal violence.
Adamu said a total of 175 deaths were reported between January and April this year with Zamfara topping the list with 104 reported cases, followed by Katsina with 21 killed by bandits and Sokoto State with 19 cases, and that on kidnappings, 546 or 79.8 per cent of the national total were recorded in the three northern geopolitical zones.
He said the highest zonal prevalence rate occurred in the North-West where 365 persons were reportedly kidnapped within the period under review. ‘’This is followed by the North-Central geopolitical zone where 145 persons were kidnapped.
‘’It is pertinent to mention that Zamfara has the highest national kidnap rate with 281 victims in what has been directly linked to the activities of bandits in the state. This is followed by Kogi and Niger states where 65 and 51 persons, respecrively were kidnapped within the period.’’
Continuing, he said on armed robbery, a total of 212 major armed robbery cases were reported nationally within the period under review, adding that the North with 130 major robbery cases representing 59.43 per cent of the national total incident rate topped the list of armed robbery profile.
According to Adamu, ‘’the North-Central geopolitical zone with a total of 81 armed robbery cases represents the zone with the highest rate while Niger, the FCT and Zamfara with 32, 23 and 18 cases, respectively occupy the three topmost states in the national armed robbery profile.’’
On their part, the PDP also acknowledged the patriotism and resilience of the workers, particularly for remaining steadfast to the course of nation building, in spite of the harsh economic conditions foisted on them by ‘’the overtly corrupt, incompetent and grossly insensitive President Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.’’
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement said, ‘’it is rather unfortunate that Nigerian workers found themselves operating under an inept administration that does not appreciate their inputs; that has no tangible strategy for their much-needed capacity building and reward system, but only relishes in Greek gifts and official bullying.’’
‘’The PDP cautions against such unproductive tendencies, adding that the N30,000 minimum wage should not be a justification for any form of bullying or victimisation against the workers’’, Ologbondiyan said, adding, ‘’the Buhari-led APC administration must elevate its discourse in understanding that workers welfare is not tied to a minimum wage.
‘’It is in creating conducive working environment, established capacity building and reward system as well as a secure and economically viable environment that enable the workers, and indeed all Nigerians to meet their social and economic needs without stress; as contained in the Atiku Abubakar Master Plan.
‘’It is however unfortunate that at the time Nigerian workers should have been getting ready to enjoy the benefits of a new order under Atiku Abubakar, the nation is being set back by the ills of electoral manipulations.’’
Nevertheless, the PDP is urging the Nigerian workers not to be despondent, as the mandate, which was freely given to Atiku Abubakar, will be retrieved at the tribunal, and accordingly appealed to them to continue putting in their best in serving Nigeria even as it wishes them a happy Workers’ Day.