President Muhammadu Buhari has reached out to Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, pledging the full support of the Federal administration in assisting him and the people of Benue with resources to investigate the latest herder-farmer killings.
The President, in a statement issued Saturday by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, said it was “unacceptable for lives to be taken by herdsmen and farmers alike.”
Buhari, who commiserated with the people of Benue State, said politics must be set aside to bridge divisions in the interests of all citizens.
The statement read: “President Muhammadu Buhari and all his administration condemn the recent attacks in Benue State. 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.
“It is equally unacceptable for the lives of those merely practising their duties as police officers and government officials to also be lost. Government will hold those that took those lives to account.
“There are many times when President Buhari and Governor Ortom of Benue State 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 President pledges the full support of the Federal administration in assisting him, his State government, and people of Benue with resources to investigate what has occurred. When tragedies like this occur, we must remember first and foremost that we are all Nigerians.
“Politics too often gets in the way of what is best for our nation. Too often, it divides us. 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.”
In the last one week, scores of people were killed after armed men opened gunfire on residents of Gbeji rural town in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State.
The victims include villagers, herders and at least one policeman.
Witnesses said the incident had caused the Gbeji dwellers to desert their homes in droves.
When contacted, the state Police Commissioner, Wale Abass, said separate incidences happened around the border villages of Benue and Taraba States.
He confirmed the killing of villagers, herdsmen, and one policeman last Wednesday.