By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is doing its best to tackle the issue of illegal migration.
While also responding to criticism by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the illegal migration and trafficking of Nigerians during the visit of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, APC condemned what it said was an attempt by PDP to politicise such a humanitarian issue.
The ruling party also described PDP complaint over its planned mode of primaries as a sign that it has already conceded defeat even before the 2019 elections.
APC said PDP, “in its typical insensitive and unguarded stance on matters affecting the country,” is exploiting an issue that bothers on the lives of Nigerians to politicise the problem of irregular migration by Nigerian youths.
“It is a known fact that many Nigerian families have suffered grief as a result of deaths and other inhuman treatment that have befallen relatives attempting migration to Europe and other parts of the world,” it said.
APC said the federal government through support of international agreements has been making efforts towards curbing illegal migration, repatriation of stranded Nigerian migrants and addressing root causes encouraging illegal migration of Nigerians.
According to the party, President Buhari has demonstrated the political will to check the scourge.
It said: “The pains and suffering most Nigerians go through with the hope of reaching Europe has been well reported. Through relevant agencies, the President Buhari administration has continued to mitigate the migration crisis, particularly in Libya and Mediterranean Sea.
“Nigerians will recall the presidential directive for Nigerians to be evacuated from Libya and other locations and be returned home safely. Already in place are several interventionist programmes of the federal government to enable them start new and productive lives,” APC said.
It said President Buhari’s administration is using initiatives like N-Power, Bank of Industry (BoI) Youth Entrepreneurship Support, Central Bank of Nigeria support schemes, agriculture, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to reduce the rate of unemployment in the country which is seen as the cause of the scourge.
Meanwhile, APC has expressed surprise at the interest the PDP has shown in the mode of election it has adopted for primaries to elect party candidates for the 2019 elections.
A statement issued yesterday by its spokesman, Yekini Nabene, the party said with over 13million registered APC members coupled with a large section of nonpartisan Nigerian electorate supporting the President Buhari-led APC administration, it would seem that the PDP on account of its attack of APC’s adoption of direct primaries particularly to elect its presidential candidate, has already conceded defeat even before the 2019 elections.
“We quite understand that the revolutionary and progressive idea of direct primaries to elect party candidates is strange to the PDP-a party known for its inability to ensure internal party democracy and actively promotes imposition of candidates against the will of its members,” it said.
APC said direct primaries would ensure fairness; creates a level playing ground for contestants and eliminate corrupt tendencies usually associated with the delegates system.