Killings Not New in Nigeria: Adesina Compares Killings Now and Then

The Presidency on Thursday took a swipe at the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, accusing it of playing irresponsible politics with the latest attacks in Plateau State that left scores of people dead.

It said the decision of the PDP to declare seven days of mourning for the killings amounted to dancing on the graves of the dead and playing cheap, infantile politics.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, stated this in a statement in Abuja.

The presidential spokesman then listed some killings which he described as savage and brutal that took place during the PDP rule between 1999 and 2015 for which no national mourning was declared.

“November 20, 1999. Odi, in Bayelsa State which was invaded on the 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 and 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,” Adesina added.

The presidential spokesman said the list showed that wanton killings had been with the country for some time.

He said while the present administration was working towards proffering lasting solutions, it should be given the opportunity to do so.

He said those playing politics with tragedies should have a change of heart or lose their humanity.

“Those who take pleasure in twisting statements from the Presidency may claim we are saying that many more people were killed under the PDP than under President Muhammadu Buhari. It would be unconscionable to do so.

“The intendment of this statement is to show that wanton killings have been with us for awhile (sic); 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 a change of heart, or lose their very humanity,” he concluded.

The Punch

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