It’s wrong to blame Buhari on Benue killings – Presidency

It’s wrong to blame Buhari on Benue killings – Presidency
January 09 19:32 2018

By Ahmed Idris 

The Presidency on Tuesday responded to the accusations and counter accusation on the current spate of killings in country, saying it’s unfair and unkind for anyone to keep insinuating that the President is condoning the massacre in Benue and other states.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja p, said the President has publicly condemned the violence at every turn, and is prepared to permit every possible step that can lead to the stoppage of the killings.

“It is on account of this he brushed aside an opinion that the federal government should challenge the constitutionality of the anti-open grazing bill. He wanted to give a chance to the state government to succeed in stopping the senseless killings.

“The President is conscious of his duty to Nigerians, not least because he is held accountable for everything that goes wrong. He deeply sympathizes 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.

“Whipping up hate may captivate the public and score political points on social media, but it will not bring an end to the crisis. Let every stakeholder instead sit down with the government and security forces and carry everyone along in finding an all-embracing solution,” he said.

He said the President 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,” he said.

Shehu also disclosed that the Presidency is coming up with a conference of stakeholders on infrastructural and agricultural development to put in place a plan for immediate relief and long term plan for the expansion of agriculture in the country as a way of finding short term and long term solutions to frequent conflicts between farmers and cattle rearers.

He said the conference would tap into experiences and best practices to draw up a planned development 20-30 years ahead based on population and development projections and would take into consideration environmental impacts.