President Muhammadu Buhari is worried that hes been accused of being behind the killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen across the country.
In a meeting with a Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) delegation from the 19 northern states at the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday, July 5, 2018, Buhari said only evil-minded people will accuse him of condoning killings being carried out by suspected herdsmen.
Buhari breaks silence on suspected killer herdsmen
Breaking his silence after allegations from several quarters that the President's body language is encouraging the activities of the suspected killer herdsmen, Buhari said: “When some (people), 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 these men.”
Continuing, he said: “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,” he said.
Nigerians are right to want more convictions - Buhari
President Buhari, however, noted that the Nigerian citizens were right to demand more from the government following the nefarious activities of the suspected killer herdsmen.
He said: "Nigerians are right when they say they want to see more convictions and I would like to appeal to the judiciary to help us fast-track these cases.
“The the various flash-points in the region and several prosecutions are going on. In a number of cases, we have seen convictions.
“Let me make it clear that even a single life lost in any part of the country is one too many. I came to office vowing to ensure the protection of lives and property, and I remain committed to this despite the challenges we have experienced.
“I, therefore, seek your support as clerics and religious leaders to join hands with this administration and give us your full support. As you all know, deploying law enforcement agencies is fully our responsibility as a government while creating the platform and mechanisms for dialogue is a collective effort," he said.
PDP chairman blames Buhari for recent killings
The chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Uche Secondus, blamed Buhari for the recent killings, especially in the northern part of the country at a rally for the PDP governorship aspirant in Ekiti.
“As you can see, killing going on in all the states, especially Zamfara, Taraba, Benue and the Plateau. How long can you kill our people?
“This country is experiencing civil war because of the killings, and Buhari and APC is behind it. And by the grace of God, PDP will rescue this country from the hands of APC. They are planning to arrest our leaders, we refused to be intimidated,” Secondus said.