There Were More Killings Under Your Watch – Presidency Tells PDP

President Buhari says ongoing killings should not be politicised, but the latest statement could further deepen partisan bickering.

Although President Muhammadu Buhari warned against politicising the ongoing killings across Nigeria, his aides have yet again reminded Nigerians that deadly attacks resulting in high number of deaths did not start under his government, but rather a reality which Nigerians lived through for the most part of Peoples Democratic Party’s 16-year rule.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said the PDP was playing politics when the major opposition party declared a week-long national mourning in memory of those killed last weekend in Plateau State.

The police put the figures of those killed around 100, but witnesses and organised groups like the Christian Association of Nigeria are estimating over 200 deaths in the killings which affected several communities in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area between July 23 and 25.

Mr Buhari was in Jos, the state capital, located about 50 kilometres north of the affected communities, to commiserate with the state government and reassert his administration’s commitment to hunt down the killers and ensure justice for the victims.

The PDP, which became Nigeria’s major opposition party following its defeat at the 2015 general elections, announced Wednesday evening its flag would be unfurled at half-staff at its local and national chapters across the country for the next seven days.

For concrete action, the party said the “people of Plateau State” should “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 PDP firmly holds that 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 party added. “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.”

In both tone and deed, the PDP’s move to rally Nigerians appeared an uncomfortable development for the State House, prompting Mr Adesina to exhume a string of past killings he said occurred without declarations of national mourning by the opposition party when it was in power.

Rather than exercise “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 national mourning, Mr Adesina said.

Mr Adesina said the PDP’s mourning exercise would fail because “Nigerians are politically discerning, and cannot be hoodwinked by cheap antics.”

The spokesperson went on to list the following past incidents and called out the PDP for allegedly failing to mourn the casualties at the time.

– 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.

 

Obasanjo Calls For Solutions To Killings As He Visits Plateau

As high profile Nigerians continue to pour into Jos over massive killings in Plateau communities, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that the right machinery should be put in place for solution.

According to the former president, human problems need human solutions and Nigeria must find solution to massive killings across the country.

Mr Obasanjo spoke on Wednesday when he paid a condolence visit to Gov. Simon Lalong in Jos.

Mr Obasanjo who conveyed the condolences of his family and his delegation charged government at all levels to look for the causes of the killings.

“It is saddening in this day and age that this kind of barbaric thing is happening in our own country.

“I have suggested and I will still say it again that we need to find out the cause of these mindless killings even among age old neighbours.

“There must be a cause or causes, remote and immediate and we must deal with it.

“And if we must continue to multiply condolences upon condolences, we must look for the remote causes and deal with it.

“I believe this is a human problem and problems have human solutions, this is a human problem.

“I hope and plead that government at the federal level must collaborate with states, local governments and communities to find what are the causes so that we can deal with it,” he said.

He prayed for a cohesive society where everybody would be his brother’s keeper.

Mr Lalong appreciated Mr Obasanjo for making out time to come personally to console the people.

He said that he was particularly sad with the development because when he came on board, the Berom and Fulani signed a pact and made some recommendations on how to stay and live together in peace.

According to him, some of the recommendations are being worked on to be passed into law.

The Plateau Government had placed a 6p.m. to 6a.m. curfew on three communities of Barkin Ladi, Riyom and Jos South local government areas after massive killings in the past three days.

The police confirmed that 86 persons died in attacks which occurred on Sunday.

(NAN)

Buhari Plans Review Of Security Apparatus As Plateau Youths Besiege Govt House To Protest Killings And Other Newspaper Headlines

On Newspaper Headlines today, Against the backdrop of the killings going on in the country especially the massacre witnessed in Plateau State last weekend, President Muhammadu Buhari is planning to overhaul the country’s security setup. This is just as a protest to express the grievances of residents of the state to the wanton killings was hijacked by hoodlums at the government.

THE PUNCH, NATION, VANGUARD, DAILY SUN, INDEPENDENT, GUARDIAN under review make it their top story.  The report has it that Violent protest rocked Jos, the capital of Plateau State, on Wednesday, as residents protesting the killings in three local government areas of the state by herdsmen invaded the state secretariat destroying vehicles and buildings. The protest, which started peacefully, turned violent when youths and women damaged some cars parked at the New Government House in Jos and other offices.

The protesters, who had converged on the Old Airport Junction and marched to the Government House, were initially repelled from getting access to the premises.  Some of them climbed the fence to gain access to the Government House, forcing security agents at the gate to eventually open it. As they failed in their mission of stopping the fleeing officials, the protesters started to throw stones which hit cars and offices including the structure housing the offices of the Secretary to the State Government, Chief of Staff, Permanent Secretary (Government House) and other top government officials.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari is to rejig the country’s security system, House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara has said.

The speaker said after a meeting with the President at the Aso Villa accompained by Senate President Bukola Saraki that “The President has taken enough steps and told us what he is doing, especially the reorganisation that he plans to put in place to ensure that this doesn’t  happen again.”

Dogara said President Buhari had already taken enough steps to arrest the deteriorating security situation in parts of the country, adding that he was open to adopting the National Assembly’s measures aimed at addressing the worrisome security situation.

 

Killings: Senate Delegation Commiserates With Plateau Govt, People

A Senate delegation led by Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Wednesday paid a condolence visit to Plateau State over the latest killings.

The delegation is also in the state for an on-the-spot assessment of situation of the state, according to the Twitter handle of the Senate President.

Speaking during the visit, Saraki conveyed the sympathy of the National Assembly, “on this unfortunate sad incident that occurred here in Plateau State”

“This is something that is very sad. This is not only a loss to Plateau, but also a loss to the entire country. Words cannot describe how the affected families are feeling with this kind of loss.”

 

See video of Saraki speaking in Plateau state:

The Senate President

@SPNigeria

VIDEO: “On behalf of the National Assembly, we convey our deepest sympathy on this unfortunate sad incident that occurred here in Plateau State” – Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki

Plateau Killings: Perpetrators Must Be Arrested, APC Reacts

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on the security agencies to arrest the perpetrators of the attack that claimed many lives in Plateau State.

The party made the demand in a statement on Wednesday by their National Publicity Secretary, Mr Bolaji Abdullahi.

“We call on security agencies to spare no efforts in ensuring the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators and in stemming the occurrence of such violence in all parts of the country,” the statement said.

The APC described the attack as an act of “barbarism, bestiality and cruelty” to a fellow man, saying nothing can justify such incident.

They condoled with the government and people of Plateau State over the attack which left at least 100 people dead in Barkin-Ladi and Riyom local government areas of Plateau.

The ruling party further stressed the need for Nigerians to live in harmony with one another, irrespective of their religious, ethnic, and political backgrounds.

They added, “We appeal to religious and community leaders to demonstrate true leadership even in the face of this terrible challenge by appealing to those affected not to take the laws into their hands and avoid utterances and actions that can provoke reprisal.”

The party, however, said they are confident that the prompt visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the state would help to provide some succour to the people of the affected communities.

The also described the visit as a reassurance of the President’s commitments to tackling the security situation in the country.

Killings: Buhari To Overhaul Security Setup

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Wednesday said President Muhammadu Buhari was planning a reorganisation of the nation’s security architecture to address ongoing security challenges in parts of the country.

He, however, did not disclose the details of the re-organisation.

Dogara said this in an interview with State House correspondents after a meeting he and the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, had with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“The President has taken enough steps, these are security issues, they are not matters that you can discuss; but he has told us what he is doing, the re-organisation that he plans to put in place to ensure that this doesn’t happen,” he said.

Dogara said Buhari briefed them on what he saw firsthand when he visited the troubled state on Tuesday and the measures he was putting in place to forestall recurrence.

He added, “These are very sober moments for all of us. In a situation where people, in hundreds, continue to be killed, we can no longer tolerate this kind of situation as a government.

“Whatever it is, we must not lose the fight against violence because we can’t lose that fight and still keep our civilisation.

“If you go to the North East, you can see the level of devastation caused by Boko Haram. Everything resembling progress: from schools to hospitals to government institutions, everything has been pulled down. And we don’t want a replication of this all over the country.”

NASS To Visit Plateau Over Killings – Dogara

The National Assembly said it was planning to pay a condolence visit to Plateau State.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said this in an interview with State House correspondents after a meeting he and the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, had with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.

Dogara did not give the details of the meeting, however.

Persons suspected to be Fulani herdsmen had sacked 11 villages in Plateau State over the weekend, with death toll put officially at 86 by security agents.

 

He said, “We met with the President to, first of all, commiserate with him and get a briefing from him.

“As part of the briefing, he explained how steps were being taken to forestall reoccurrence and restore sanity, because this is a great concern to him and to us also.

“We will see what can be done with NEMA and security agencies. We will all work towards it. Nobody is happy with it and we will all come together to ensure that we restore sanity.

“We commiserate with all families. It is our own intention to also go and pay our own condolence visit to the people of Plateau.”

Dogara advised Nigerians to learn how to live in peace, saying it is the only way communities can be secure.

“My advice to our people — not just Plateau State, Benue, Zamfara, Taraba — virtually all communities faced with this situation, especially in the North, I think the issue of securing our communities, living in peace must be taken as a project.

“It is something each and every one of us must invest in, whether as traditional rulers, as community leaders, councillors, chairmen, all strata of society must invest in peace building.

“That is the only way we can live in a secure community and ensure that we progress as a country,” he said.

Saraki also said that the President briefed them on the steps being taken to restore peace to troubled spots.

“Our general appeal at the end of the day is that we all live together in peace and harmony and we will continue to do our best to see that this kind of thing does not happen again,” Saraki said.

Plateau Killings: Saraki, Dogara Meet Buhari

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have met with President Muhammadu Buhari over the killings in Plateau State.

Both leaders of the National Assembly arrived at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

Discussions at the meeting focused on ways in which the Legislature and the Executive can work together to resolve the security issues in the country.

The two leaders of the National Assembly also received a briefing from the President on the steps being taken to tackle the crisis.

The Presidency also confirmed the meeting in a tweet.

Presidency Nigeria

@NGRPresident

President @MBuhari met with Senate President @bukolasaraki and Speaker House of Reps @YakubDogara this morning at the State House, on the Security situation in Plateau State.@AsoRock & @nassnigeria working together to end the killings,restore peace and ensure justice

Mixed Reactions In Ile Ife Over Plateau Killings

By Sodiq Lawal

Thousands of Ife sons and daughters have joined other Nigerians to sympathise with people of Barkin Ladi area in Plateau State over the killings that took place over the weekend.

The Police in Plateau state confirmed 86 people dead in the violence that erupted the area.

As a result, reactions from Ife indigenes and residents has been gathering momentum in the ancient city.

According to an Ife based human right activist, Comrade Adedayo John, he condemned the attack and urged the security agencies to investigate and arrest those behind the Plateau killings.

He said, “the former governor of Benue state was arrested and killings stopped in the state. Dino Malaye was arrested in Kogi state and killings stopped there. Saraki was fingered as a sponsor of the killings in Kwara state and the killings stopped. There can be no peace until the strong politicians who are behind the killings in Plateau state are attested.”

Also, a member of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) Ife Central branch, Mr Gbenga Lawal urged Nigerians to call a spade a spade and stop blaming President Muhammadu Buhari over the killings, saying that the Biroms should be blamed for launching a first attack on the Fulanis.

Speaking with our correspondent, he said,  “why is it that nobody wants to blame the Biroms for what they did to Fulanis at first?. People are just complaining on the revenge. Why can’t their traditional rulers and clerics tell them not to do it. Are the Fulanis not humans or not Nigerians?.

However, a member of Ife Action Council, Mr Nureni Adepegba, described the killings as tragic and most unfortunate.

“It is most disheartening that people are being killed daily because those who are saddled with the responsibility of safeguarding lives are careless about the well being and safety of the people.

He however urged President Buhari to tackle the issue by ensuring maximum security in the area and other parts of Nigeria.

Plateau Gets New Commissioner Of Police

A new Commissioner of Police, Mr Bala Ciroma, has been posted to Plateau State.

This was confirmed in a statement by the Police Public Relations Office in the state, DSP Tyopev Mathias Terna on Tuesday (June, 26, 2018).

According to the statement, before Ciroma assumed the new office, he was the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (CIID) in Abuja.

Although reasons for the development were not stated by the Police, it comes in the wake of fresh attacks in the north-central state.

At least 86 persons were confirmed killed by suspected herdsmen during an attack on Gashish district of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area at the weekend.

Tyopev told newsmen on Sunday that six people were also injured while at least 50 houses, two vehicles, and 15 motorcycles were razed.

He confirmed the casualty figure and destruction after a search and rescue team from the Plateau State Police Command visited the communities affected by Saturday’s attack.

Six villages attacked by the assailants are Xlands, Gindin Akwati, Ruku, Nhgar, Kura Falls and Kakuruk, all in Gashish.

Plateau State, which had previously enjoyed relative peace, has recently been hit by series of attacks mainly perpetrated by suspected herdsmen, resulting in the death of several persons.

NDCP Condemns Plateau Killings, Condoles Victims Families

  • Wants President Buhari To End Killings

The Nigeria Democratic Congress Party NDCP has commiserated with the people of Barkin Ladi and other areas in Plateau State affected by last weekend’s massacre.

The massacre carried out by suspected Herdsmen left 86 people dead but locals said the causality figure was over 200.

The party described the unfortunate incident as barbaric and senseless urging those who lost their loved ones in the killings to take solace.

Presidential Candidate and Founder of the party, Dr Johnson Edosomwan in a statement also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to step up efforts to curb the rampaging insecurity in the land.

The NDCP Leader asked President Buhari to fine tune strategies with security agencies that will help to protect Nigerians.

Edosomwan said “The killings show that our country and our people are not safe again. The Plateau Killings is one of the biggest crimes against Humanity. We are indeed in grief over these killings.”

“The killings in Plateau, Benue and other parts of the country must stop. Mr President must as a matter of Urgent National Importance find the short-term and as well as the medium-long term solutions to these crises.”

“We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the dead, their communities and the Plateau State Government.”