In a statement released on behalf of President Buhari by his senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, the Nigerian President blamed the mass killing suspected to be carried out by herdsmen in Plateau state, on desperate politicians.
President Buhari in the statement stated that human live is increasingly becoming cheap in Nigeria as desperate politicians “pursue their quest for instability and chaos”, and he is aware that other than geographical factors, politicians are taking advantage of the situation.
The presidency quoted security information which indicated that about one hundred cattle were rustled by a community in Plateau State, and some herdsmen were killed in the process.
“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,” Buhari said.
“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” the statement read in part.
The security report also revealed that 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. It further stated that 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,’’ the report added.
This is coming after the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), described the attacks as an act of retaliation. Recall that we reported that the association said 300 cows belonging to herdsmen were rustled, adding that no one should expect peace since the cattle were not found.