President Muhammadu Buhari has directed security chiefs to remain vigilant and ensure the protection of lives and property in all parts of Nigeria.
At an interactive session with stakeholders in Plateau State in the aftermath of the recent killings in some communities, the President urged traditional and community leaders to complement government’s efforts by persuading their constituencies to tolerate one another for peace and unity.
‘‘I will continue to pressurise members of the law enforcement agencies directly under me by the Constitution as the Commander-in Chief. About eight days ago, we had five hours security meeting of the service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police.
‘‘What happened here in Jos is very bad. The question of leadership, from your household to whatever you are, is justice. The bottom line is justice. That is why wherever I go, I will always appeal to the leadership of the communities, the law enforcement agencies to always have control of their constituencies,’’ he said.
Condemning the latest clashes in Plateau State, which left scores dead, President Buhari condoled with the affected families, the Government and people of the State and wished those injured a speedy recovery.
Avoid Inflammatory Utterances
The President also used the occasion of the interactive session to appeal to Nigerians to avoid inflammatory utterances that endanger peace or promote conflicts.
‘‘Whatever is being given to the media, we have to be very responsible about it. Take for instance the situation in Benue. The Benue subsistence farmer knows that the Nigerian cattle herder that he knows doesn’t carry nothing more than a stick, occasionally sometimes something to cut grass to feed his cattle. But the present day herder, I am told, carries AK47 and people are even blaming me for not talking to them because maybe (they say) I look like one of them. There is some injustice in these aspersions,’’ the President explained.
According to him, “It is noteworthy that many Nigerians still acknowledge that despite the security challenges, this administration has made notable successes in the security sector.”
President Buhari was accompanied to the meeting by Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and his counterparts from Kebbi and Niger States.
President Buhari also carefully listened to the presentations and recommendations made by the Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Nura Abdullahi and a representative of the Berom community, Mrs Florence Jambol on engendering peace in the communities.
Years of calm
Governor Lalong blamed parties in the conflict for reneging on their agreement to maintain peace, leading to the recent upsurge in violence, after nearly three years of calm and normalcy in the State.
‘‘We are concerned as a State that the sophisticated weapons used in these attacks, from the evidences on the ground and the narrations of victims, are not those conventional to our environment for self-defence but reflective of a terrorist invasion.
‘‘It, therefore, demands a justified response like that which was undertaken to address the Boko Haram insurgency,’’ he said.
Emergency Intervention Fund
The Governor also requested that given the number of villages completely ravaged in the violence, the Nigerian Government should establish an Emergency Special Intervention Fund to help reconstruct the destroyed communities.
The interactive session was attended by traditional rulers, community and religious leaders, representatives of youth, women and trade union groups, security chiefs and some top government officials.