The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has accused the Presidency of insensitivity for comparing the number of deaths under the current administration to the ones under the previous government.
It stated that the government was bereft of emotion and empathy by seeing the death of Nigerians as mere statistics.
The forum in a communique issued at the end of its meeting in Abuja and released on Monday, attributed the Plateau killings to professional killers, noting that the pattern of the massacre indicated that it was a well planned operation.
The group in the statement co – signed by Yinka Odumakin for South- West , Bassey Henshaw (South -South), Chigozie Ogbu (South -East), and Isuwa Dogo (Middle -Belt), stated that they were pained by the loss of hundreds of lives in Plateau State.
It also knocked the government for blaming cattle rustling for the violence “without any form of regret over the deaths of hundreds of our citizens whose lives would appear to be inferior to those of cows in the estimation of highest authorities in the land”.
The forum added, “Apart from the clear failure of leadership in a country that withdraws $1bn not appropriated to buy fighter jets but whose President asks citizens to pray to God to come and do the job of their Commander-in-Chief, we are full of rage over the official irresponsibility the Presidency has displayed over this carnage in the following ways:
“The Presidency first reaction as dead bodies were still being counted was some noxious narration of how the killings were caused by the missing of 100 cows”.
“The follow – up to this ranking insensitivity was the declaration in Jos by Mr. President that the number of deaths in Zamfara is more than Benue and Plateau put together making Nigerians to wonder if he was the ‘Statistical General of deaths’ and not the Commander-in-Chief who should ensure deaths do not occur at all.
“To cap the festival of mockery of the deaths in the land, the Presidency issued another statement saying there were more deaths under the Peoples Democratic Party than under the present administration; What a morbid sense of insensitive comparison?
“Are we to award some medal to the government in power for keeping the number of deaths in three years lower than what occurred in 16 years? We hope we do not see this in the book of achievements of this government”.