The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Benue state was “politically motivated”.
President Buhari on Monday paid a one-day working visit to the state to commiserate with the government and people of the state over the New Year’s Day massacre.
Recall that on January 1, 2018, suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked two communities in Benue, killing over 73 people, including women and children.
During the visit, Buhari met with government officials, traditional rulers, farmers and herdsmen.
However, the visit, which comes about 69 days after the attack, happened after a public outcry.
Reacting to the visit, the PDP in a statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, spokesman of the party, said the President’s visit was a direct mockery of the dead.
According to the spokesman, it is “appalling and highly disheartening” that the president would visit the state “after a widespread outcry over his aloofness and not out of any genuine concern for their well-being”.
“President Buhari’s visit to troubled states, particularly Benue, serve no sincere purpose since they did not come from the heart but evidently orchestrated for political reasons,” the statement read.
“What is the purpose of condolence visit when it does not come from the heart but orchestrated to deceive and beguile the people ahead of the 2019 general election?
“Indeed, we agree no less with Nigerians that this cosmetic and politically motivated visit is nothing but a direct mockery of the dead and a heavy slap on the faces of the bereaved.
“This is the same president, who at the wake of the massacre, summoned the leaders and the bereaved to Abuja, rather than complying with the age-long tradition of Africans by immediately visiting the bereaved.
“Months after their tears have dried and they are painfully gathering their broken pieces, the presidency is now trying to use them for a political posturing by staging a cosmetic condolence visit just to score a political point.
“More off-putting is the fact that following the public criticisms that trailed the President’s glaring aloofness and failure to visit the direct victims during his whistle stops in Taraba and Plateau states, his handlers have now arranged a put-on visit to some internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Benue, which is nothing but a posturing stunt to further deceive the people.
“What steps have been taken to ensure adequate protection for the people and to end the daily bloodletting in the land? Instead the government has engaged in making reproachful comments and dishing out false information to the people.
“The PDP therefore charges the presidency to end the unnecessary roadshow and take decisive steps to ensure the security of the people.”