The Presidency has hit back at the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for playing cheap and opportunistic politics with the latest killings in Plateau State.
“These are dolorous times that call for deep introspection on how cheap human lives have become, and the proffering of actionable ideas on how to get out of the bind. But the PDP would rather dance on the graves of the dead, playing cheap, infantile politics”, said Femi Adesina, Presidential media adviser, in a statement today.
The PDP had following the sad and unfortunate killings in Plateau State over the weekend declared seven days of mourning.
The party also said flags would be flown at half staff during the period.
But Adesina reminded the PDP that under its 16-year rulership of Nigeria, worst tragedies happened and the party did not consider it fit to shed the crocodile tears it is shedding now.
“The comatose and prostrate party is declaring seven days of mourning, during which flags in its offices would be flown at half staff nationwide. But unknown to the party, those flags had been forcefully lowered since its 2015 loss at the polls, and may remain so for a long time to come, because Nigerians are politically discerning, and cannot be hoodwinked by cheap antics.
In providing a check list of the killings recorded in the PDP era, the Presidency clarified that it is not justifying the present killings as it believes that every single soul is important to be preserved in the country.
“Those who take pleasure in twisting statements from the Presidency may claim we are saying that many more people were killed under PDP than under President Muhammadu Buhari. It would be unconscionable to do so. The intendment of this statement is to show that wanton killings had been with us for awhile; this government is working towards enduring solutions; and should be given the opportunity to do so.
“Even a single soul is precious, and no man should take a life, which he cannot create. But when tragic situations as had happened in Plateau State occur, such should never be used to play crude politics. Those who are wont to do so should have change of hearts, or lose their very humanity”, Adesina stated.
Here is a quick checklist of some savage and brutal killings in Nigeria during PDP rule, between 1999 and 2015:
* November 20, 1999. Odi, in Bayelsa State, was invaded on orders of a PDP President. About 2,500 people killed.
*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.
*In February, 2004, at least 975 people were killed in Yelwa-Shendam, Plateau State.
* Between November 28 and 29, 2008, Jos was in flames again, with 381 deaths.
*In 2010, 992 people killed in Jos.
*In 2014 alone, according to Global Terrorism Index, at least 1,229 people were killed in the Middle Belt.
*Boko Haram killings in PDP years were over 10,000.