The Presidency, yesterday, said it was unfair and unkind for anybody or group to keep insinuating that President Muhammadu Buhari was condoning killings in Benue State and other parts of the country.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement said the president was conscious of his duty to Nigerians, not least because he is held accountable for everything that goes wrong.
He said Buhari was also worried about public pronouncements and finger-pointing which he described as unhelpful to peaceful coexistence in the country.
The presidential spokesman said, “President Muhammadu Buhari has been concerned about these conflicts each time he received those very gruesome pictures of mayhem from several parts of the country, especially as it affected Benue and neighbouring states.
“He is equally worried about some public pronouncements and finger-pointing that are, in most cases very unhelpful to peaceful coexistence of our diverse peoples.
“The President is conscious of his duty to Nigerians, not least because he is held accountable for everything that goes wrong. He deeply sympathises with the families and all the other direct and indirect victims of this violence. He is determined to bring it to a permanent end.
“While there are many Nigerians who see the conflict between the nomadic herdsmen and peasant farmers as an ethnic problem, others point to religious differences and agenda. The President does not subscribe to such simplistic reductionism.
“President Buhari holds the view, as do many experts, that these conflicts are more often than not, as a result of major demographic changes in Nigeria.”
Notwithstanding, the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose has called on the Federal Government to put a permanent stop to the killings in Benue State by herdsmen.
According to him, what is happening in Benue and other Middle Belt states is more than a strife between herdsmen and local farmers. “It has got to the level of terrorism and ethnic cleansing. Just now, we heard the news of the herdsmen attacking the camp of
Mobile policemen, Mopol 13 in Benue, killing two officers by slitting
their throats. Do you call people who could invade the camp of mobile
policemen in a guerilla manner and overpower armed Mopol mere Fulani herdsmen?”
Governor Fayose in statement by his Special Assistant on
Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said President Muhammadu Buhari must take decisive steps to stop what he described as an attempt to wipe the Agatu and Tiv people of Benue State.