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Herdsmen Crisis Presidency says political opposition is sponsoring killings

He said the alleged sponsors of attacks will be dealt with once security agencies are done with their investigations.

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Miyetti Allah says herdsmen armed with guns are criminals play

Armed herdsman (illustration)

(National Daily )

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President Muhammadu Buhari's Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has blamed the opposition for escalating killings allegedly carried out by herdsmen all over the country for political gain.

Ever since herdsmen were blamed for the death of 73 people in attacks launched in Guma and Logo local government areas of Benue State in the opening days of January 2018, hundreds of people have been killed in similar attacks with Taraba and Benue bearing most of the brunt.

While  speaking during an interview on Arise TV on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, Adesina said political detractors of the current administration have hijacked the conflict and sponsored attacks to discredit Buhari's achievements in strengthening security in the country.

Presidency says Nigerians to blame for corruption ranking play Femi Adesina (File)

 

He further warned that the alleged sponsors will be dealt with once security agencies are done with their investigations.

He said, "You have the true herders and farmers who are clashing and you have hidden hostile hands who have crept in under that umbrella to play what the president has described as irresponsible politics.

"This farmers/herders' clash has been going on for a long time. When I say long time, I mean far long before this administration. Like the president said, the issue is even older than anybody living today.

"What you have today are being sponsored because they know security is one of the strongest points of the administration. The president said so in a national broadcast.

"He also said the security agencies are investigating and has warned that once they are identified, they will be dealt with.

"The intention of the opposition in any democracy is to weaken the incumbent as much as possible and the opposition in Nigeria has identified security as one of the strong points of the Buhari administration. So they decided to go to that area finding the soft under belly and stick a knife into it."

Herdsmen killings are political - FG

President Buhari's Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, made a similar accusation in April 2018 when he revealed that the federal government has evidence that most of attacks were sponsored by politicians who are trying to blackmail the government.

Just days later, the Defence Headquarters also blamed the rise in the spate of killings carried out by suspected herdsmen as the handiwork of certain unnamed sponsors.

The Director, Defence Information, Brigadier-General John Agim, said, "The military is strategising on how to go after the herdsmen and their sponsors. We will get both the herdsmen and their sponsors. We want to say this to the killers and their sponsors that the military is coming for them. We are going to get both the killers and their sponsors very soon."

More recently in May, President Buhari himself alleged that the spate of killings in Nigeria was being sponsored by certain individuals to start a war in the country for selfish reasons. He further remarked that attacks on locations like places of worship is an attempt to stoke conflict and turn Nigerians against one another on the basis of religion.

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