By Anthony Ogbonna
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the visit of President Muhammodu Buhari to Taraba State has vindicated its position that the scheduled trips to states where Nigerians are being killed by marauders is cosmetic and a political afterthought that did not come from the heart.
The PDP also expressed disbelief at what it described as the President’s dismissal of public criticism over his delay in visiting the troubled areas as expecting him “to always go out to the field to make noise.”
The party said Nigerians were also distressed by what it described as President Buhari’s morbid comparison of more people being killed in one state than the other, “as if one life is not as important as hundred others,” adding that such a disposition has further exposed the value the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled administration attaches to the lives of Nigerians.
The party said Nigerians wondered why President Buhari did not put figures to the tally “since what appears to be of interest is the morbid comparison of how many Nigerians were killed from state to state.”
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Tuesday, PDP said it is however not surprised by President Buhari’s comments as well as his failure to visit the victims to directly assure them,saying the APC-controlled Federal Government had always exhibited thoughtless disdain towards the feelings and well being of the masses.
According to the statement, “When well-meaning Nigerians said the visits were cosmetic and a political gambit, some apologists of the APC dismissed it as a mere political statement. Now, the action and comments by the President during his whistle stop visit to Taraba state have bared it all.
“Not only that our dear President holed himself in the comfort of the Taraba State Government House for a brief meeting with few government officials, he did not visit the victims to directly commiserate and allay their fears with assurances of steps to ensure justice and end the carnage, as his allusions almost re-opened old wounds.
“Is it not surprising that the same president who, last Saturday, had all the time at a wedding ceremony in Kano state, did not even spare a minute to visit victims of a carnage where a soothing word from him would have been the balm for justice and peace?
“Furthermore, the President’s declaration that Nigerians should not expect him to “always go out to the field” not only negates his promise to lead from the fronts, but also shows that he has become distant from the real feelings, demands and sensibilities of the people.
“Also, Nigerians were shocked by the President’s claims of having performed in providing security in the country, even in the face of the daily bloodletting in the land. Perhaps, he was not aware, as usual, that while he was in Taraba, marauders were having a field day slaughtering women and children in neighboring Benue state.
“It is clear to all that this Presidential road-show serves no purpose to the people, but merely designed as a gambit to score cheap political point and falsely portray the administration as caring, particularly seeing that the 2019 election is around the corner.
“This is indeed the highest insult to the sensibility of Nigerians and a spat on the graves of the dead.
“We therefore charge Mr. President’s handlers to end the charade, which is bringing more pubic opprobrium to the President, as no amount of gimmick will reverse the resolve by Nigerians to end the APC anti-people rule come 2019.”