Benue Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu has said one word from President Muhammadu to killer herders will go a long way in ending incessant killings.
According to him, some drastic steps need to be taken to put an end to killings by some herders, and Fulani leaders need to speak up against the attacks by herders on communities.
The governor said this on Tuesday during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.
“One very simple but effective response is that – a word from the President of this country condemning what is going on and asking the Fulanis to stop these terrible actions of theirs. I believe this will go a very long way,” he said.
The deputy governor added that he has made this suggestion at many meetings including the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) meeting, northern governors’ forum, and National Economic Council (NEC) meeting.
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He explained further that he has reached out to the Sultan of Sokoto Muhammadu Abubakar and Lamido of Adamawa, Muhammadu Aliyu, on the need to address the situation.
“I have also put a solemn request to the Sultan of Sokoto, and even to Lamido of Adamawa, who is the worldwide leader of the Fulani, that we need to hear from them. Fulani needs to hear from them, their own leaders condemning what they are doing and asking them to put a stop to it,” he said.
He also expressed confidence that this approach will solve the security situation adding that, “It is a very simple thing but I believe it will be an effective one. We are yet to hear that, the Fulani are yet to hear that.”
Abounu lamented that the body language of Fulani leaders has contributed to the atrocities committed by herders in Nigeria.
“The body language of the leaders of Fulani in our society today is a very serious issue to be addressed,” he said.
His concerns of Abounu come on the heels of a string of fatal attacks on Benue communities. No fewer than 42 persons were reported killed in separate attacks in two local councils of Benue State in May 28.
The attacks took place in Katsina-Ala and Gwer West local councils of the state, leaving residents of the communities in despair and some others seeking refuge at IDP camps.
Residents in the affected communities of Shikaan, Mbagena, and Kpav said the attackers suspected to be Fulani herdsmen invaded their communities in the early hours of Thursday and started killing people.
The deputy governor said Nigeria’s security situation has gotten worse and he needs to address the country, rather than issue press statements through media aides.
“Garba Shehu is not the President of the country, he is only an appointee. I think we have reached the stage when the President needs to come out and address this country,” the Benue Deputy governor said.