The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday knocked the Presidency for saying the 43 farmers killed by Boko Haram insurgents on Saturday did not get clearance before going to their farms.
Presidential spokesman Mallam Garba Shehu, in an interview with the BBC, said the slain farmers should have first obtained clearance from the military authorities.
Although Shehu has clarified his statement, the PDP, through its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan, said it was alarmed by the comment.
The party described Shehu’s statement as reckless and bizarre, saying that it was an attempt by the Presidency to rationalize the gruesome killings.
”The PDP is outraged by the Buhari Presidency’s claims that the farmers were killed because they failed to get clearance before going to their farms; a statement, which is also an admission that the Buhari administration has been overwhelmed…” the party said.
It repulsive that the described as unfortunate that the presidential spokesman tried to justify the killing of farmers.
The PDP said: “This unpatriotic stance smacks of support for acts of terrorism and mindless killing of our compatriots by a government whose Commander-in-Chief had promised Nigerians to lead the battle against insurgents from the front.
“Such also provides further insights into the escalation of acts of terrorism in our country.”
Accusing the Presidency of insensitivity, the main opposition party said the official reaction amounted to spitting on the graves of the slain farmers and an unpardonable slap on the faces of mourning Nigerians.
“Perhaps this also informs why their party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has not deemed it fit to have a word of lamentation for the death nor consolation for the bereaved.
“Our party, therefore, calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately withdraw the offensive statement by his Presidency and apologise to Nigerians, particularly the people of Borno State,” the party added.
The PDP restated its call to President Muhammadu Buhari to heed Nigerians’ persistent demand to rejig the security architecture and to replace his service chiefs with more competent hands.