The presidency says killings are not peculiar to the administration of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, said this in reaction to the seven days of mourning declared by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the recent mass killing in Plateau state.
In a statement released on Thursday, Adesina described the PDP’s declaration as “irresponsible politics”.
He said killings have been recorded in the country since the administration of the opposition party.
Adesina said President Muhammadu Buhari “is working towards enduring solutions; and should be given the opportunity to do so”.
The statement read: “The sad and unfortunate killings in Plateau State over the weekend have been turned to opportunity to once again play irresponsible politics, particularly by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which says it is declaring seven days of mourning.
“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 are wont to do so should have change of hearts, or lose their very humanity.
“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. But the PDP would rather dance on the graves of the dead, playing cheap, infantile politics.
“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 further accused the PDP of taking advantage of the killings to score cheap political goals.
Adesina listed series of attacks which took place during the reign of the PDP, noting that the party did not declare a national mourning at the time.
He said: “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.”
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