The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a Senator, Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central), have reacted to the killings that took place in Plateau State over the weekend.
The police in Plateau State confirmed 86 people dead in the violence that erupted on Saturday in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area.
The violence, allegedly by armed herdsmen, almost led to reprisal attacks by in Jos, the state capital, on Sunday, leading the government to declare a curfew.
A resident of the Barkin Ladi had earlier told PRESS that 120 people were killed by the attackers.
In a statement on Sunday evening, the police also confirmed that six persons were injured, with 50 houses razed.
On Monday, the chairman the North-central chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Danladi Ciroma, condemned the attacks.
Mr. Ciroma however said in a statement that the attacks were “retaliatory”.
“These attacks are retaliatory. As much as I don’t support the killing of human being, the truth must be told that those who carried out the attacks must be on revenge mission.
“Fulani herdsmen have lost about 300 cows in the last few weeks – 94 cows were rustled by armed Berom youths in Fan village, another 36 cows were killed by Berom youths. In addition to that, 174 cattle were rustled,” he said.
Mr Saraki, who described the incident as depressing, advised President Muhammadu Buhari to direct his security chiefs to immediately produce quick response measures aimed at tackling the spate of killings in the country.
In a statement, he said it is important for Nigerians to start having the assurances that the government is decisively responding to the current threat to lives and properties.
“The problem of Boko Haram in the North-east is well known to everybody but this killing by unknown band of assailants in Benue, Taraba, Plateau and Kaduna States is now giving another dimension to the crisis. Coming at the time we are getting ready for elections, we need to respond fast.
“If the plan is to develop some long term measures, we also request that the President should mandate the security chiefs to put forward an immediate short term and quick response measure which will restore confidence in the system and demonstrate to the criminals behind this killings the capacity of government to tackle the issue,” he said.
The opposition PDP in its statement decried the killings.
The PDP said President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to address the security challenges facing the nation is reponsible for the latest bloodbath.
“It is most disheartening that compatriots are being killed daily because those saddled with the responsibility of safeguarding lives, care less about the wellbeing and safety of the people, as they focus only on their ill-fated 2019 re-election bid,” it said.
The party urged Nigerians to note that ”since the escalation of killings and bloodletting in various parts of the country, particularly in Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Adamawa, Yobe, Borno, Zamfara, Kaduna and other states, no concrete steps have been taken by the APC administration to strengthen and fortify the security architecture in the troubled areas”.
“We now find ourselves in a situation where government attaches no value to the lives of Nigerians so much so that top security officials flout presidential orders and even abandon their security duties in troubled areas while the President, as the commander-in-chief, takes no strong steps to reorder his parade.
The PDP particularly agrees with Nigerians that if the over 7,000 security personnel, police surveillance helicopters and Armoured Personnel Carriers were not withdrawn from their primary security duties and drafted to be part of the APC national convention, the marauders would not have had a field day in this Plateau attack.”
Meanwhile, Mr Sani condemned the attacks describing it as tragic and most unfortunate.
He criticised his own party, the APC for paying more attention to the ”power and politics of the 2019 elections”.
“While the Governors dance and sing at Eagle Square,the lives of the governed are wasted and the blood of the governed was soaking the territory they administer.
“Enough blood has been spilled in Nigeria to touch the conscience of people in power, if at all humanity matters. In Nigeria today life of the poor is cheaper than peanuts and gala (sausage).We have become a nation in perpetual mourning and funeral service,” he said.
Mr Sani said until the ruling political elite raise the value of the life of the underprivileged to be equal to that of the powerful and the privileged, ”the systemic wastage of the lives of the poor will remain unabated”.
“The nation has lost its sense of outrage and we are tragically spreading red carpets and beating the drums of praises to leaders who woefully failed in their responsibilities,” he added.
He also extended his condolences to the families of the deceased.