Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) yesterday condemned the Presidency over its handling of the killings of communities in Plateau State by suspected herdsmen.
SMBlF said this in a communiqué issued yesterday after its meeting held at the weekend in Abuja, and made available to journalists. It condemned what it termed, “official irresponsibility the Presidency has displayed over this carnage”.
According to the communiqué signed by Yinka Odumakin for South- West, Senator Bassey Henshaw (South- South), Prof. Chigozie Ogbu (South- East) and Isuwa Dogo (Middle- Belt), the leaders decried the Presidency’s first reaction, which they said amounted to seeing human lives as inferior to those of cows.
SMBLF noted that following that “insensitivity” was the declaration made in Jos, the Plateau State capital by President Muhammadu Buhari that the number of deaths in Zamfara State was more than that of Benue and Plateau states put together.
It said this remark had made Nigerians to wonder if President Buhari was the “Statistical General of Deaths” and not the Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria, who should ensure deaths do not occur at all.
“Apart from the clear failure of leadership in a country that withdraws $1billion not appropriated to buy fighter jets but whose president asks citizens to pray to God to come and do the job of its Commander-in-Chief, we are full of rage over the official irresponsibility the Presidency has displayed over this carnage in the following ways:
“The Presidency first reaction as dead bodies were still being counted was some noxious narration of how the killings were caused by the missing of 100 cows without any form of regret over the deaths of hundreds of our citizens whose lives would appear to be inferior to those of cows in the estimation of highest authorities in the land.
“The follow-up to this ranking insensitivity was the declaration in Jos by Mr President that the number of deaths in Zamfara is more than Benue and Plateau put together making Nigerians to wonder if he was the Statistical General of Deaths and not the commander-in-chief who should ensure deaths do not occur at all.
“To cap the festival of mockery of the deaths in the land, the Presidency issued another statement saying there were more deaths under the PDP than under the present administration. What a morbid sense of insensitive comparison. Are we to award some medal to the government in power for keeping the number of deaths in 3 (three) years lower than what occurred in 16 years? We hope we do not see this in the book of achievements of this government,” SMBLF said.
The leaders reiterated that all these poor attitudes put together were indications that the country had a “government totally drained of emotions” and one that sees the “deaths of Nigerians only in numbers.”
The leaders, however, expressed appreciations to the rest of the world, saying the country had some consolation that in Nigeria’s darkest hours, the world did not turn away its eyes as evil marches over her soul.
“We thank the rest of the world. We have some consolation that in the darkest hours in Nigeria, the world did not turn away its eyes as evil marches over the soul of our country.
“We have taken notes of the concerns expressed over the killings in Nigeria by Amnesty International, United Nations and the British Parliament.
‘’President Donald Trump of America did also not mince words with President Buhari when he visited the U.S. recently. We thank them all for not siding with murderers and terrorists even if the Nigerian authorities treat them with kid gloves,” the Forum said.
SMBLF, therefore, charges Nigerians not to give up, saying that evil was only doing overtime to beat them to submission.
It reminded Nigerians that the country’s history was replete with moments like it was currently passing through but which did not last forever.
SMBLF said, “Finally, we appeal to Nigerians not to give up as evil is doing overtime to beat them to submission. Our history is replete with moments like we are currently going through but they didn’t last forever. This too shall come to pass!”
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