National chairman of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently halt the killings in Benue State and other parts of the federation, warning that they could degenerate into a national crisis.
He condoled with Governor Samuel Ortom on the New Year Day carnage and consequent ones, including the Tuesday morning's murder of two Catholic priests and 17 other worshippers of St Ignatius Quashi Catholic Church parish in Ukpor-Mbalom in Gwer local council of Benue State.
In a statement by his media Adviser, Ike Abonyi, the PDP chair regretted the continued bloodletting nationwide, adding that the "apparent inability of the Federal government to stem the trend raises a lot of concern for the future of Nigeria."He continued: "From whichever angle you are witnessing what is happening in this country, one thing is agreeable, that this country is sliding dangerously. Nigerians and the global community have continued to watch as all the tenets of democracy are being eroded and giving way to dictatorial tendencies.
"In the last one week, we have watched as disturbing indices continue to crop up ahead of the forthcoming general election with the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration either unconcerned or involved in a tactical endorsement of the acts."Secondus called on N that the "choreographed tension in the land as a designed by the APC government to charge up the polity to enable them carry out their agenda of abusing democratic process and the rule of law ahead of 2019."He therefore admonished security operatives to be professional and patriotic.
However, a non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged the government to contain the menace and punish the offenders, saying condemnation was not enough.In a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said Africa would be destabilised if the international community continues with its alleged indifference to the killings.
Meanwhile, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign state of Biafra (MASSOB) has described the President's condolence as hypocritical. It described Chibuike Amaechi, Rochas Okorocha, Ogbonnaya Onu, Chris Ngige and others from Igbo land as "political errand boys and stooges of the real owners and controllers of APC."
A statement signed by its factional, Comrade Uchenna Madu, in Awka yesterday asked the Catholic Church to discountenance Buhari's sympathies.In a related development, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has asked the Federal Government to probe the Benue incident and other killings in the country
In a statement, its National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, insisted that the perpetrators must be brought to book.Also yesterday, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) and Nasrul-Lahi -L-Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT) have condemned the invasion of the church.
The Director of MURIC, Ishaq Akintola, stressed the sanctity of human life.To the president of NASFAT, Kamil Yomi Bolarinwa, the attack came at a time "when we were about to say Alhamdulilah (appreciation to Allah) over the success being recorded by the government in curtailing the activities of the dreaded Boko Haram."