Mr. Femi Adesina, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman, in a statement on Thursday reminded Nigerians that the number of killings during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led government is much more than the killings happening now.
His statement came following the declaration of a week national mourning by the PDP in memory of those killed last weekend in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State by suspected killer herdsmen.
According to Adesina in his response to the mourning declaration by the main opposition party, the PDP was only playing politics and shedding crocodile tears.
Over 100 persons were reportedly killed in the attack that happened from July 23 to July 25 in communities located in Barkin Ladi.
President Buhari who visited Jos over the gruesome killings, as usual, promised to hunt down the killers and ensure justice for the victims of the attack.
According to the PDP, “the life of every Nigerian is sacred. All Nigerians must be protected whether they are Birom, Basange, Igbira, Tiv, Idoma, Hausa, Igbo, Fulani, Gbagyi, Yoruba or from any other tribe whatsoever.”
“The fundamental duty of government all over the world is the protection of lives and Nigerians can no longer continue to fold their hands while compatriots are being daily hacked down by marauders.”
The party further urged the people of Plateau State to “exercise their rights as global citizens, work with other public-spirited Nigerians and groups and take President Muhammadu Buhari and his government to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague for acting helpless in the face of continuous mass killings in our country.”
The statement by the PDP appeared to have prompted the reaction from the presidency. Adesina reminded the former ruling party that killings happened in the past when the PDP was in power and it never deemed it fit to declare national mourning at that time.
He further noted that the PDP rather than exercising “decorum, deep introspection” and help proffer “actionable ideas” on how to end the senseless killings in the country, the PDP danced “on the graves of the dead, playing cheap, infantile politics,” with its declaration of national mourning.
He further listed past incidents that occurred during the administration of the PDP, noting that no national mourning was declared on such occasions, adding that the PDP current mourning exercise would fail because Nigerians are politically discerning and cannot be hoodwinked by cheap antics.
– November 20, 1999. Odi, in Bayelsa State, was invaded on orders of a PDP President. About 2,500 people killed. No national mourning.
– Between February and May, 2000, about 5,000 people were killed during riots over Sharia law in different parts of the North. No national mourning.
– In 2001, hundreds of people, including the old, infirm, women and children were killed in Zaki Biam. No crocodile tears.
– Between September 7-12, 2001, Jos, Plateau State, erupted in internecine killings. Between 500 and 1,000 people were killed. Flags were not flown at half mast.
– In February, 2004, at least 975 people were killed in Yelwa-Shendam, Plateau State. No mourning by the then ruling PDP.
– Between November 28 and 29, 2008, Jos was in flames again, with 381 deaths. No mourning.
– In 2010, 992 people killed in Jos. Mum was the word.
– In 2014 alone, according to Global Terrorism Index, at least 1,229 people were killed in the Middle Belt. No mourning.
– Boko Haram killings in PDP years were over 10,000. PDP flags were still fluttering proudly in the sky.