Plateau Massacre: Presidency indicts Buhari

  • Compares records of failure with erstwhile PDP government

President Muhammadu Buhari  subtly suffers self-indictment by a statement from the Presidency over the wanton killings and destruction of property in Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Zamfara and other parts of Nigeria by Fulani herdsmen.

The subtle self-indictment is coming as the President and political appointees continued to convey to Nigerians, directly or indirectly, that the inaction of the federal government to contain the ongoing killings and destruction of property and farmlands by Fulani herdsmen in the Plateau, Benue and other parts of Nigeria, is a governance pattern inherited from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government.

Accordingly, while families groan in anguish over the murder of their relations; Nigerians from the coasts of Port Harcourt, Calabar, Lagos to the sahel of Maiduguri, Dutse, Minna etc, mourn the hundreds of deaths recorded in the seeming genocide in Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Zamfara and other states, the president and his appointees seldom make categorical statement to condemn the killer herdsmen; they rather  make excuses as though to justify the pogrom or validate the inability of the federal government to secure those territories or  contain the killings and invasion of communities by the herdsmen.

The reactions of the President and his appointees appear to be increasing the confidence of the killer herdsmen whose activities tentatively show that they  draw reinforcement from the public statements of the president and his appointees, and therefore, increasing the degree of massacre and destruction on their target entities and victims.

Ironically, while the mourning and despondency across the country subsist, the president and his media aides find delight and solace in referring Nigerians to records of isomorphic governance failures during the era of the PDP. The president and his aides seem to have forgotten that it is for the references they are making that Nigerians, hypothetically, rejected the PDP at the polls in 2015 after they had promised CHANGE.

Unfortunately, when the CHANGE agenda of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Buhari administration is perceived to be creating worse governance results and the president and his men feel the solution is to refer Nigerians to their assumed failures of the past, they are unconsciously enlightening the people to return to where they were coming from since that is becoming better than where they are today. Comparing notes with failures of the past is self-defeatist and admittance of self-inflicted  failures.

The media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari has for second time misfired on the mishandling of the herdsmen killings by the Buhari administration through repeated comparison of notes with the 16 years of PDP regime, indicating that over 22,000 citizens were killed in ethnic and communal clashes.

There could have been better response to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) declaration of seven days mourning over the killings in Plateau State by herdsmen last Sunday, rather than taking to competition of governance failures.The presidential stance is more appalling and damaging when a leader of the Miyyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in the North Central made public statement that the killings in Plateau last Saturday was in retaliation of 200 cows killed by the people.

Femi Adesina, in a statement, presented a check listed of killings that there was no national mourning in the country. He highlighted:

 “A quick checklist of some savage and brutal killings in Nigeria during PDP rule, between 1999 and 2015, for which no national mourning was declared:

“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.”

This statement grossly de-markets President Buhari because some of the identified killings, which are not related to precarious crimes, could be investigated and those who authorized them be brought to book, the current government failed to do that; this is self-indictment. Such government action would make positive record in the leadership credential of President Buhari.

Adesina, in  erroneous self-defense of the flaws in the statement, declared:  “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.”