The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said a recent statement made by President Muhammadu Buhari during a visit to Taraba state, where he compared the number of deaths through killings in affected states, was not only morbid but ill-thought.
It also said the president’s planned visits to states affected by bloodletting and violence was an after-thought and not altruistic.
The president, on Monday visited Taraba state to condole with those affected by recent violence caused by herdsmen/farmers clashes.
In Taraba, Mr. Buhari hit the nerves of many critics when he said the number of persons killed in violent clashes in Mambilla Plateau, Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State, was more than ”those killed in Zamfara and Benue states combined”.
The PDP said the ”ill-thought remark” has vindicated its position that the scheduled trips to states ”where Nigerians are being killed by marauders is cosmetic and a political afterthought that did not come from Mr. Buhari’s heart”.
The party in a statement on Tuesday by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, expressed disbelief at the president’s dismissal of public criticism over his delay in visiting the troubled areas.
“Nigerians wondered why President Buhari did not put figures to the tally since what appears to be of interest is the morbid comparison of how many Nigerians were killed from state to state.
”The party is however not surprised by President Buhari’s comments as well as the failure to visit the victims to directly assure them as the APC-controlled Federal Government had always exhibited thoughtless disdain towards the feelings and well being of the masses.
“When well-meaning Nigerians said the visits were cosmetic and a political gambit, some apologists of the APC dismissed it as a mere political statement. Now, the action and comments by the President during his whistle stop visit to Taraba state have bared it all.”
The party also flayed the president for ”not directly visiting the families affected” during his visit to Taraba.
“Not only that our dear President holed himself in the comfort of the Taraba State Government House for a brief meeting with few government officials, he did not visit the victims to directly commiserate and allay their fears with assurances of steps to ensure justice and end the carnage, as his allusions almost re-opened old wounds.
“Is it not surprising that the same president who, last Saturday, had all the time at a wedding ceremony in Kano state did not even spare a minute to visit victims of a carnage where a soothing word from him would have been the balm for justice and peace?
“Furthermore, the President’s declaration that Nigerians should not expect him to “always go out to the field” not only negates his promise to lead from the fronts, but also shows that he has become distant from the real feelings, demands and sensibilities of the people.
“Also, Nigerians were shocked by the President’s claims of having performed in providing security in the country, even in the face of the daily bloodletting in the land. Perhaps, he was not aware, as usual, that while he was in Taraba, marauders were having a field day slaughtering women and children in neighboring Benue state.
”It is clear to all that this Presidential roadshow serves no purpose to the people, but merely designed as a gambit to score cheap political point and falsely portray the administration as caring, particularly seeing that the 2019 election is around the corner.”