The president of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Buhari, on Thursday released a statement speaking on the allegation against him in the issue of herdsmen’s attack for over some time now. The president rejected any connection with the perpetrators of the killings and said it is evil of anyone to say he has a link with them.
President Buhari said this when he received the leadership of the Christian Association Of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 Northern States at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The President said: “When some, for clearly political purposes, attempt to suggest that this government is doing nothing about the killings and that I, being Fulani, must be encouraging these satanic acts, it seems to me that there is no limit to the evil in the minds of men.“Otherwise, how can anyone in their right minds suggest that I, as an elected President even with substantial votes in the affected areas, will for any reason do harm by an act of omission to those same people?
“Secondly, the problems in all these areas, as you all know, are historical. There is no administration that has not had to contend with killings in these same areas over the years.
“Indeed, in 2001, you may recall that after thousands were killed in Plateau State, a State of Emergency was declared and a Governor was replaced by an Administrator.
“To suggest that our Administration is doing nothing is terribly unfair.
“We must not forget that the same Plateau State which has been crisis-ridden for years has in the past three years been celebrated for its peacefulness. The Governor’s hard work for peace and the presence of the military’s Operation Safe Haven must have had some impact.”
Also speaking further, the president observed that the recent killings in Benue, Zamfara and lately Plateau are wicked, condemnable unacceptable acts. He said Nigerians, are religious people and no religion or culture accepts the killing for any reason whatsoever.
The president also added that “we owe it to the memory of those who lost their lives in the violence in Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba, Zamfara and elsewhere since 1999 to bring the conflicts to a decisive end. I assure you that we will do this.
Replying the President, the Chairman of CAN Northern States, Rev. Yakubu Pam released a 10-point prayer presented to the President during the meeting “That the security architecture of the country should be re-visited to give it a new lease of life and responsiveness to earn the required trust, confidence, and support of the general populace.
“All communities ravaged by the herdsmen violence in the North should be rebuilt and adequate security be put in place to enable displaced persons to return to their homes and means of livelihood
“The Federal Government should roll out a robust advocacy programme to enlighten the nomadic herders on modern cattle rearing against open grazing and roaming across states and national boundaries.
“The federal government should encourage herders to acquire land for cattle ranching across the country as a means of private business investment
“The Federal Government under the current administration is celebrating an agricultural revolution, most farmers, especially in the north, can no longer go to their farms due to the sustained attacks by armed herdsmen. We, therefore, urge the government to reconcile its priority by providing the necessary safety for the farmers to go on with their farming activities.
“Observe that the continuous abduction of underaged Christian girls who are forcefully converted to Islamic religion and given out for marriage without the consent of their parents breeds religious disharmony. We, therefore, wish to state that the situation does not only violate the fundamental human rights of the girls but is also a call to anarchy if such actions were to get an even score by the Christian population. The appeal, therefore, is for your quick intervention to ensure that the numerous girls held under such circumstances are released to their parents.
“In the spirit of the above observation, we wish to demand that intensive and speedy actions should be taken for the release of girls in captivity, especially Leah Sharibu.
“That all perpetrators including the so-called foreigners as alleged of these heinous crimes against humanity in parts of northern states should be arrested and prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others
“The Federal Government should as a matter of urgency make adequate provisions for farmers who have been adversely affected by this undesirable herdsmen attacks.
“We are appealing to Mr President to call on his colleagues in politics irrespective of a political party to work together and make 2019 election to be free and fair and a model for all other African countries.