Uche Secondus, chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says it is an act of insensitivity on the part of President Muhammadu Buhari to visit Bauchi state instead of Benue.
Buhari arrived Bauchi on Thursday for a two-day visit.
Benue has experienced a high rate of killings in recent times. On Tuesday, suspected herdsmen killed two priests and some other worshippers at St. Ignatius’ Catholic Church, Ayar, Gwer east local government area (LGA) of the state.
While the people of the state were still mourning their loss, another attack claiming at least 22 lives was recorded at Guma community in the state on Wednesday.
On Thursday, seven people were also killed when suspected herders attacked another church in Logo LGA.
In a statement by Ike Abonyi, his spokesman, Secondus said the president’s decision to visit Bauchi while Benue is mourning “leaves everyone to wonder at the lack of emotion on the side of the president on the plight of the citizens.
“There is no time a people need show of empathy and concern more than when they are in mourning mood as is the case with the people of Benue state,” the statement read.
“What the president is doing is clear show of arrogance, and lack of empathy, wondering why the needless bloodletting in that state should not attract his feelings enough for him to at least do a presidential stopover to the embattled state.”
Secondus said the show of “lack of empathy” on the side of the president might have influenced security agencies against making arrests and curtailing the attacks.
“It’s this sought of show of insensitivity and bluff by the president and the commander-in-chief that perhaps have influenced the behaviour of the military operatives and other security agencies who have not made any appreciable impact in trying to stem the ugly situation in the state as they may have continued to interpret the president’s indifference as lack of seriousness in the callous bloodletting in the state,” he said.
“This type of indifference and lack of concern from the President on the plight of its citizens perhaps explains why there has been no arrest and persecution of these hoodlums since January 2018 when the latest onslaught on the people of Benue began.”
Secondus therefore, advised Buhari that as a leader, he should try to be above board and see himself as a father of all by giving equal treatment and concern to all matters affecting the people irrespective of their ethnic, religious and political inclinations.
In March, the president had visited Benue when he made trips to some troubled states.