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Buhari speaks on herdsmen killings, dissociates lineage

By Balogun Alabi,

President Muhammadu Buhari has disassociated himself from allegations been raised by the public linking attacks and killings by herdsmen in the country, to him, the accusation of which he described as unkind and incorrect.

Buhari noted that the attacks by herdsmen had been happening long before his administration, stating that no fewer than nine cases of herdsmen attacks were recorded in Benue state alone with over 190 killed, even though he emerged president of the country in 2015.

The president stressed that in 2014, over 16 attacks were also recorded in the state which more than 230 victims died as a result, adding that between January and May 2015, 300 people died again in the state.

He said that the allegations put against him were false, thereby imploring members of public to make use of history in order to understand the issue on ground.

In a statement issued by the presidency media office on Thursday, Buhari explained that attacks by herdsmen had been a recurrent issue, and that successive governments had made all efforts to curb the attacks.

The president assured that his administration remained committed to crushing the violent act, as well as, prosecuting the attackers in order to prevent future killings and attacks.

“Security agencies have standing instructions to arrest and prosecute any and all persons found with illegal arms,” he said.

However, President Buhari said that his administration had intervened into the issue by meeting with the Benue State Governor of on the matter, to assure him of the Federal Government’s commitment to protecting farmers and communities.

“On Monday January 8, 2018, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, convened a security meeting on the issue, bringing together Federal and State government officials: Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Heads of security agencies, and the Governors of the most affected States: Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, and Taraba,” the statement read.

It would be recalled that Buhari also ordered Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to relocate to Benue State.

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