Governors of the 36 states of the federation have called on the federal government to arrest and prosecute those behind the incessant killings across the country.
The governors’ reaction came against the backdrop of last weekend’s killing of over 100 persons in three local government areas of Plateau State.
Rising from a meeting, under the aegis of Nigeria Governors’ Forum on Wednesday night, the governors also resolved to to hold a security meeting with service chiefs in a bid to stop the incessant killings in the land and properly activate the security apparatus in the country.
They also commiserated with the government and people of Plateau State, even as they planned to pay a condolence visit.
Chairman of the Forum and governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, who read the communiqué raised at the end of the meeting to journalists, said, “We, the members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) at our meeting held today at the NGF Secretariat, Abuja deliberated on several issues and resolved as follows:
”The forum strongly condemned recent attacks in Plateau State and the spate of insecurity in the country. Members commiserated with the government and people of Plateau and other States including victims who were caught in transit traveling to and from neighbouring states.
“Governors unanimously called for the prosecution of the perpetrators of the attacks and resolved to find a quick and common solution to the security crisis.
“The Forum resolved to pay a condolence visit to Plateau State to commiserate with the government and people of the state.
“Governors noted with delight and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President for their quick response and visit to Plateau State to show empathy to the people of the State. We equally commend Governor Simon Lalong for the way he handled the very sad situation.
“Governors resolved to hold a one-day meeting with the security chiefs to come up with a holistic solution to the country’s security situation.”
The governors also received a briefing from the Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, respectively.
The presentation from NCC revolved around the broadband deployment which Yari said would expand the economic fortunes of the country while that of the NNPC was on the security of the energy sector.
Governor Yari stated further: “The forum received presentation from the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Professor Unar Garba Danbatta on Broadband Deployment in Nigeria.
”Governors acknowledged the importance if broadband deployment for both economic development and revenue generation, and pledged to work closely with the Commission and Infrastructure Companies to remove the impediments to broadband deployment including unifying right of way charges and addressing multiple regulation and multiple taxation.
“Following a briefing on Energy Security and Cross-border Leakages: Effects on Remittances to the Federation Account by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, represented by the Chief Executive, Downstream, NNPC, Henry Ikem Obi, and the Director of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Mordecai Danteni Baba Ladan, represented by Team Lead, Terminal Operation, DPR, Idris Abdulraha, Governors pledged to continue to engage with the federal government, the leadership of NNPC, DPR, the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, and other security agencies to curb hoarding, diversion, smuggling and illegal hike in ex-depot or retail pump price to safeguard Nigeria’s energy security.
“Finally, governors reiterated their resolve to implement the PMS supply and distribution monitoring system in each state.”
Meanwhile, the Presidency Thursday released what may be described as checklist on the number of people killed during the 16 years administration of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The Presidency’s reaction came on the heels of the seven days mourning declared by the PDP on Wednesday in honour of those killed in Plateau State last weekend.
It accused the PDP of shedding crocodile tears, describing the seven days mourning declared by the party as hypocritical, cheap and infantile politics as well as dancing on the graves of the dead.
Chief Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement, entitled “Plateau and the PDP Crocodile Tears”, however, stated that those who took pleasure in twisting statements from the Presidency might claim that he was saying that many more people were killed under PDP than under President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, saying so will be unconscionable.
He 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.
“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.
“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.”
He noted that within these periods of the reign of the PDP when the killings were carried out, there was “No mourning.”
Continuing, the presidential spokesman said: “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.
‘’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 are wont to do so should have change of hearts, or lose their very humanity.”