Photo Credit: Gistlovers
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday stated that his administration has been losing sleep over the continued attacks on Benue’s rural communities by herdsmen, reiterating his commitment to restore peace to the crisis-ravaged area and other similar states experiencing such in the country.
Addressing farmers, herdsmen, government officials and other stakeholders in Makurdi, during the visit, the president quashed criticisms in some quarters that his administration was insensitive to plights of residents in the state.
According to him, “I cannot overlook the killings in Benue or any other part of Nigeria. I cannot do that. I am genuinely worried about the attacks in Benue and we are doing everything to end them.”
The country’s number one citizen, however, expressed dismay when he learnt during the visit that the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, did not spend 24 hours in Benue, when he directed him to relocate to the state and remain there till peace was restored, assuring that the matter would be revisited in due time.
He said: “I am getting to know this in this meeting. I am quite surprised”.
Stressing the way forward, Buhari urged some aggrieved residents in the state to embrace peace, while government seeks lasting solution to the situation.
He went on to enjoin the people to pay more attention to farming, especially rice cultivation, saying that rice importation had dropped by 90 per cent since some states embarked on the massive production of the commodity.
On his part, the state governor, Samuel Ortom, who also spoke during the president’s visit, urged Buhari to upgrade the ongoing military exercise in the state tagged “Ayem Akpatema”, to a wider operation to effectively curb herdsmen attacks.
He quipped: “If the exercise is upgraded to a wider operation, it will assist greatly in ending the incessant attacks and senseless killings by herdsmen.”