FEMI Adesina, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, has insisted that more people were killed between 1999 and 2015 when the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in power, than have been killed in the three years that Buhari has been in power.
Adesina made this known in a statement on Thursday in response to PDP’s declaration of a seven-day mourning period for the latest victims of herdsmen violence in Plateau State.
He urged the PDP to quit shedding “crocodile tears” since the party did nothing to prevent the killings during their days in charge of the country.
Adesina accused the PDP of playing “cheap, infantile politics” with the situation in Plateau State in the hope of gaining sympathisers, but added that “Nigerians are politically discerning, and cannot be hoodwinked by cheap antics”.
“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.”
Adesina said his intention in issuing the statement was not to compare the number of deaths recorded during the PDP and the APC, “it would be unconscionable to do so”.
“The intendment of this statement is to show that wanton killings had been with us for a while; this government is working towards enduring solutions; and should be given the opportunity to do so,” he stated.
“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.”