President Muhammadu Buhari has alleged that the spate of killings in Nigeria is being sponsored by certain individuals to start a war in the country for selfish reasons.
The president further remarked that attacks on locations like a place of worship is an attempt to stoke conflict and turn Nigerians against one another on the basis of religion.
The president's remarks on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, is in reaction to the mass burial of the two Catholic priests and 13 other worshippers who were killed by suspected herdsmen in Gwer local government area of Benue state last month.
The deceased victims were buried at the Ave Maria Prayer Pilgrimage Ground, on the Ayati hilltop in Gwer LGA with Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, joining mourners on Tuesday.
Taking to his official Twitter account, (@MBuhari) on Tuesday, the president urged Nigerians to stand together and resist the attempt to divide the nation and plunge it into a disastrous war.
He posted, "Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo is in Benue today to again convey our deepest condolences to the Government and people of Benue, and the Catholic Church, as the priests and parishioners killed in the despicable attack on St. Ignatius Church, Mbalom, last month, are laid to rest.
"These senseless, unwarranted attacks on innocent civilians are utterly condemnable. And we will not rest until we bring all of these killers, who belong to the lowest level of civilization, to justice. Our security forces are on full alert, to checkmate these evil attacks.
"As I've said before, these persistent killings are not spontaneous; there are clandestine forces with a sinister agenda to instigate war in Nigeria for selfish purposes. When they attack places of worship their aim is to turn Nigerians against one another on the basis of religion.
"We must not succumb to the hate that they wish to sow; we must not fall for their evil machinations aimed at dividing us. Now more than ever before we must stand firm against their calculations to stoke religious conflict and plunge our communities into unending bloodletting."
Security tightened in troubled areas
The president further assured Nigerians that his administration is doing its best to improve security in the troubled states and Nigeria as a whole. He disclosed that the military and the Police are fully on ground in Benue, with a Special Intervention Force that will protect Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara states.
A special operation named "Operation Whirl Stroke" has also commenced in the affected areas and is targeted at hunting down criminals and protecting all vulnerable communities.
Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara as well as a host of other states have witnessed a rise in bloody attacks that have led to the death of hundreds of innocent victims in just 2018 alone with pressure growing on the federal government to arrest the trend.