Outrage and brickbats continued yesterday over the Plateau State killings.
Scores of people were killed by gunmen believed to be herdsmen. The state remained calm yesterday after Wednesday’s protest at the Government House in Jos.
Governors, after a meeting in Abuja, urged security agents to ensure the arrest and prosecution of the killers.
University lecturers called for a rejig of the country’s security system.
Former Minister of Education Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, who staged a one-person protest on Tuesday to the gate of Aso Villa in Abuja, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to reveal the identities of all the perpetrators of the killings across the country.
She urged the President to give justice to the dead and secure the living.
She also demanded sanctions for Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris should the police fail to arrest those who allegedly made the recent herdsmen association statement and their members behind the so-called “retaliatory attacks”.
Mrs. Ezekwesili made the demands in a statement titled, “It is time to act now—Enough is totally and truly now.
The apex Islamic body in the North, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), said the atttcks were premeditated having been “deliberately planned with political, religious mindset”.
Idris warned politicians to desist from arming thugs.
The Presidency weighed in on the declaration of a seven-day mourning by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), describing the opposition party’s action as “dancing on the graves of the dead and playing cheap and infantile politics”.
Presidential adviser Femi Adesina said: “These are dolorous times that call for deep introspection on how cheap human lives have become, and the proffering of actionable ideas on how to get out of the bind.
“The comatose and prostrate party is declaring seven days of mourning, during which flags in its offices would be flown at half mast nationwide. But, unknown to the party, those flags had been forcefully lowered since its 2015 loss at the polls, and may remain so for a long time to come, because Nigerians are politically discerning, and cannot be hoodwinked by cheap antics.”
He added: “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.” he said
Boko Haram killings in PDP years, he said, were over 10,000 while PDP flags were still fluttering proudly in the sky.
He added: “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 wont to do so should have change of hearts, or lose their very humanity.”