Buhari In A Meting With CAN, Describes As Satanic And Unfair, The Suggestion That His Administration Is Doing Nothing About The Killings Across The Country, Assures He Will End The Massacre.
According to the president who was addressing leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the North during their visit to the Presidential Villa in Abuja, “We owe it to the memory of those who lost their lives in the violence in Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba, Zamfara and elsewhere since 1999 to bring the conflicts to a decisive end. I assure you that we will do this.
The President, yesterday, in reaction to critics who are saying he is doing little or nothing to end the killing, said that he could not support harming or killing of citizens he was elected to protect and cater for.
While condemning The recent killings in Benue, Zamfara and lately Plateau as “wicked, condemnable and completely unacceptable acts.”
“We, Nigerians, are religious people and no religion or culture accepts the killing of people for any reason whatsoever. This is why we must all rise as one to condemn these vile and wicked acts to ensure that all the culprits are brought to justice.
“Let me make it clear that even a single life lost in any part of the country is one too many. I came to office vowing to ensure the protection of lives and property, and I remain committed to this despite the challenges we have experienced.
“I, therefore, seek your support as clerics and religious leaders to join hands with this administration and give us your full support. As you all know, deploying law enforcement agencies is fully our responsibility as a government while creating the platform and mechanisms for dialogue is a collective effort.
The President while explaining the process involved in arrests of suspected perpetrators, noted that it was satanic for some people to think that he, being a Fulani will support the killings by herdsmen.
In his words,
“The military and police have arrested hundreds of suspects across the various flash-points in the region and several prosecutions are going on. In a number of cases, we have seen convictions. Nigerians are right when they say they want to see more convictions and I would like to appeal to the judiciary to help us fast-track these cases.
“When some, for clearly political purposes, attempt to suggest that this government is doing nothing about the killings, and that I, being Fulani, must be encouraging these satanic acts, it seems to me that there is no limit to the evil in the minds of men.
“Otherwise, how can anyone in their right minds suggest that I, as an elected President even with substantial votes in the affected areas, will for any reason do harm by an act of omission to those same people?
“Secondly, the problems in all these areas, as you all know, are historical. There is no administration that has not had to contend with killings in these same areas over the years.” he said
“Indeed, in 2001, you may recall that after thousands were killed in Plateau State, a State of Emergency was declared and a governor was replaced by an Administrator. To suggest that our Administration is doing nothing is terribly unfair.
“We must not forget that the same Plateau State which has been crisis-ridden for years has in the past three years been celebrated for its peace. The governor’s hard work for peace and the presence of the military’s Operation Safe Haven must have had some impact.” he said
The President while listing some operations that have started and ongoing across the affected states to end the killings, solicited the support of the clerics in the fight.
According to him, his administration currently has no fewer than three special military intervention forces in the troubled zones.
He listed them as Operation Safe Haven to secure Plateau State, Operation Whirl Stroke 1 (OPWS) to secure Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa and OPWS 2 to secure Zamfara and Kaduna States.
“These forces are supported with investigative and intelligence gathering capabilities from the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services and other agencies,” he added.
Government, he said, can achieve lasting peace only with the sincere and active cooperation of communities, religious leaders, youths and other stakeholders.
“These include the Media in whose hands lie the power to frame, shape the perspectives and narratives which influence the thinking of millions of people within and outside Nigeria.
“Finally, let us collectively shame those who are stoking the fires of ethnic and religious conflicts for their short-term political gains.
“This country belongs equally to Christians and Muslims and even those who claim ignorance of God,” he said.