The Southern and Middle Belt Forum, on Sunday, expressed outrage over the killing of 63 persons in Southern Kaduna with a demand that President Muhammadu Buhari should bring the perpetrators to justice.

The body also faulted the recent comments by the presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, on the killings, describing it as irresponsible.

The SMBF’s position was contained in a statement by Yinka Odumakin (South-West), Chief Guy Ikokwu (South-East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-South) and Dr Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt).

Shehu had, in a statement, claimed that the killings in Southern Kaduna were politically-motivated and orchestrated by criminal gangs.

The SMBF said, “We call on the Buhari’s government to immediately stop the killings, bring the perpetrators to justice and stop making statements to justify the killings and deceiving the world about the situation in the area. Only bloody-minded people will refuse to heed this advice now. It is quite worrisome that the orgy of killing has continued in spite of the curfew imposed by the state government.

“Instead of the Buhari-led Federal Government of Nigeria stepping in to find a lasting solution in the midst of tardiness by the state government, it is unfortunate that it has resorted to provocative statements. These are not responsible statements from any government in the midst of the body bags being counted daily by the people of Southern Kaduna.”

While warning the military against taking sides with the killers, the Middle Belt Forum said it would continue to work with Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the South-South Leaders Forum and other socio-cultural bodies in Southern Nigeria to bring about the required restructuring of the country.