President Muhammadu Buhari has described herdsmen who murdered over 50 persons in Benue communities a few days ago as criminals.
Buhari spoke yesterday through his representative and Minister of Interior, Lt. General Abdulrahman Dambazzau (rtd), during a condolence visit to Governor Samuel Ortom at Government House, Makurdi. He said he was personally pained by the heinous incident.
“We feel your pain especially our mothers who bore us in their wombs. Government will not sit down and watch people to be killed and their property destroyed. Anyone found wanting deserves maximum punishment,” he vowed.
The president cautioned Nigerians against politicizing the incident, noting that many people were cashing on the killings for their selfish political interest.
“We should exercise restraint. The Federal Government is putting heads together with the state government to find a lasting solution to the crisis. As I have said, the attacks have nothing to do with religion, it is criminality. Benue State as the food basket of the nation needs a lot of security.”
On why the Federal Government failed to act fast despite a letter written by Governor Ortom to the Inspector General of Police, the minister said he was yet to be briefed, stating that the attacks were unacceptable in a civilized society.
“This is a sad period in our nation’s history but I assure you that security agencies are doing a lot to contain the situation. We will stop at nothing in fishing out perpetrators of these act and deal with them,” he vowed.
Dambazzau disclosed that over 5,000 agro rangers were being trained by the Federal Government to handle incessant herders, farmers clash across the country.
Governor Ortom urged President Buhari to demonstrate his words with action by directing the immediate arrest of the leaders of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore whom he said were executing their earlier threat to the peace loving people of the state.
“These people that issue threat are staying with you there in Abuja. We want you to arrest them and make them to account for their words,” Ortom said.
Senator George Akume who is the Chairman of Committee on Army expressed confidence in president Buhari to handle the situation. He urged him not to allow the issue of herdsmen to dent his hard earned image.