Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has decried the recent killings Plateau State, where the police command has confirmed the killing of 86 persons in the attacks on Razat, Ruku, Nyarr, Kura and Gana-Ropp villages of Gashish District in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area.
While noting that farmers/herdsmen clashes have contributed to the crisis, the President accused some politicians of taking advantage of recent killings in the country.
President Buhari decried how increasingly cheap human life was becoming in Nigeria, as desperate people pursued their quest for instability and chaos which they hoped would give them an advantage in the coming elections.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Shehu Garba in a statement said, President Buhari while reacting to the killings, noted that information available to him revealed the killings about 100 cattle had been rustled by a community in Plateau State.
He was, however, silent on whether the culprits will be brought to book as he has done in the past. He did not also give order to security agencies to move into troubled spots.
Reacting to recent clashes in Plateau State which left scores dead”, the President said:
“We know that a number of geographical and economic factors are contributing to the longstanding herdsmen/farmers clashes. But we also know that politicians are taking advantage of the situation. This is incredibly unfortunate.”
President Buhari added, “Nigerians affected by the herdsmen/ farmer clashes must always allow the due process of the law to take its course rather than taking matters into their own hands.”
He added, “According to information available to the Presidency, about one hundred cattle had been rustled by a community in Plateau State, and some herdsmen were killed in the process. The state governor, Simon Lalong, had invited the aggrieved groups and pleaded against further action while the law enforcement agents looked into the matter. Less than 24 hours later, violence broke out.
“Some local thugs then took advantage of the situation, turning it into an opportunity to extort the public, and to attack people from rival political parties. There were reports of vehicles being stopped along the roads in the state, with people being dragged out of their cars and attacked if they stated that they supported certain politicians or political party.
“On his way back to Jos after attending the All Progressives Congress (APC) Convention in Abuja, the state governor had to dismantle a number of illegal road blocks set up by these thugs. There were also a number of dead bodies thugs had killed, lying along the road.”