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Buhari condemns Benue killings, orders arrest of perpetrators

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the recent killings in Benue communities, ordering security agencies to make efforts to end the ‘extreme violence’.

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Saturday, April 8, the President said politics must be set aside to bridge divisions in the interests of all citizens.

He also ordered security agents to immediately apprehend and deal with the perpetrators according to the law.

“No one should attack anyone because of their way of life. Neither should anyone take revenge on others for injustice done to them. Both should be held accountable for their actions, and justice delivered,” the President said.

According to Buhari, it was unacceptable for lives to be taken by herdsmen and farmers alike.

The President added that Nigerians must remember first and foremost that they are all equal citizens of the country, adding that his administration would hold those that took innocent lives to account.

“It is equally unacceptable for the lives of those merely practicing their duties as police officers and government officials to also be lost.

“As those who have been entrusted with leadership by our citizens, we have a duty to remember that and do everything we can to bridge divisions and come together in the interests of all our people.

“There are many times when Buhari and Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue have disagreed politically. But, today, the president puts all these aside, to reach out to the Governor to express the heartfelt condolences of the nation for what has occurred in recent days,” the statement added.

On April 7, The ICIR reported how residents of Apa community in Benue State  took to the streets to protest against incessant killings by suspected armed herdsmen in the state.

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The protesters, who are mostly youths, lamented that more than 100 people have been killed and injured in the community while a traditional chief’s hand was amputated by the armed herdsmen.

According to the report, the protests followed the killing of 46 persons in the latest attack by suspected armed herdsmen in the state.

In another report by The ICIR, some suspected herdsmen attacked Mgban community, in the Guma Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue state on Friday, April 7, killing dozens of residents.




     

     

    The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Benue State Police Command Catherine Anene, confirmed the attack but could not give details on the number of casualties.

    “Yes, there was an attack in Guma. There are officers on ground, but we are moving there ourselves now. I cannot give any more information for now,” she said.

    The ICIR had earlier reported that the Benue State Emergency and Management Agency said it recorded  5,138 deaths from suspected armed herders in seven years.

    According to the state emergency management agency, 18 of the 23 Local Government Areas had been under series attacks since the beginning of Governor Samuel Ortom’s administration.

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    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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