The chieftains of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State on Tuesday engaged each other in a war of words over offering payments to bandits in order not to release the Jangebe schoolgirls.
While APGA’s Abdullah Shinkafi had accused the APC of paying N57 million to ensure the continued captivity of the students, the party’s Chairman in the state, Lawan Liman debunked the allegation.
Both politicians appeared as guests during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“The bandits in their hideouts made mention that some strong APC politicians in Zamfara State had offered them N57 million to sabotage the release of the abducted innocent girls,” Shinkafi said.
“It is very unfortunate and there is evidence to link them up with it. When the state is in sorrow and grievous shock, people are busy celebrating because they went and took an ordinary party membership card.”
But this allegation did not go down well with the APC chairman who vowed that the party would take some necessary step.
He however did not indicate whether the steps included suing the APGA chieftain and his party before a competent court of law.
The APC boss also challenged the APGA chieftain to mention the names of politicians said to have been linked to the abduction of the schoolgirls.
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Liman said, “This claim is a careless statement that I expected Abdullahi Shinkafi to mention names. You cannot just come to a national TV and accusing that you suspect. Why can’t you mention names,” said.
“This is a serious matter which we have called for several times that this issue should not be politicised because APC being the strongest political party in Zamfara State has always been advising.
“We will take serious action against it and we want you to come out and mention names. We will never be part of this,” he added.
For the APC chairman, some elements were collaborating with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government in the state to cover up for what he described as non-performance.
He noted that security agencies have gathered intelligence on the matter, noting that truth would prevail soon.
The Jangebe schoolgirls however secured their freedom on March 2 after spending about four days in captivity.
The girls’ kidnapping on February 26 was the latest in a series of school abductions that has rocked the country in the past three months.