A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Niger State, Mr. Jonathan Tsado Vatsa, has called on former Nigeria Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, to clear himself of allegations linking him to sponsorship of banditry in the state.
Vatsa who is a former spokesman of the party in the state stated that the only way the former leader could clear himself was by addressing the people instead of a mere press statement.
Addressing the media on Thursday, he dismissed the reports linked to the former Head of State to supplying food and weapons to bandits terrorising parts of the state.
He however advised Abubakar not to stop at a mere press statement to exonerate himself from the said online report, but “address the people of the state and put the records straight in other to clear himself of this heinous allegation”.
Vatsa, a former Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in Niger State, while dismissing the report, expressed surprise that one year after this rumour has been on, nobody has been able to show the public the image of the alleged helicopter.
He stressed: “We would have loved to see the image of the helicopter. This rumour is over one year now that a helicopter belonging to the former Head of State, supplying food and weapons was brought down by the villagers through ‘black power’ but till now nobody has shown us the picture or the crash site”.
Vatsa, who is the Coordinator on Public Affairs to Governor Sani Bello, nevertheless threw his weight behind the call by a Northern group, the Arewa Consultative Forum for full investigations into the report to unravel the mystery behind the helicopter saga.
Vatsa pointed out that all well meaning Nigerians should support every effort that will bring the security situation in the country to an end.
Accordingly, he said: “We must join hands to address this security situation before it consumes all of us.
“Linking the former Head of State to helicopter supplying weapons and food to bandits in the state without any physical evidence is a mere distraction from the reality on ground.
“Think the security agents have what it takes to do a thorough investigation into the matter and let Nigerians know the through situation.”
Vatsa then commended the Army and other security agencies for the ongoing Military operations in forests across the state, which, he said, is beginning to yield some positive results leading to the return of some Internally Displaced People to their homes.