President Muhammadu Buhari says the Nigerian cattle herder doesn’t carry anything more than a stick, save when they need something to cut grass.
This mirrors the same thing he told US President Donald Trump during a visit in April, when he said: “The problem of herders in Nigeria is a very long historical thing. The Nigerian herders don’t carry anything more than a stick and occasionally a matchet to cut down foliage and give it to their animals, these ones are carrying AK-47.”
According to Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Buhari said this while speaking at an interactive session with stakeholders in Plateau State in the aftermath of the attacks in three local government areas of the state that left more than 100 people dead.
Shehu said the President directed security chiefs in the country to remain vigilant and ensure the protection of lives and property in the country.
He also said the President urged traditional and community leaders to complement efforts of government by persuading their constituencies to tolerate one another for peace and unity in the country.
“I will continue to pressurize members of the law enforcement agencies directly under me by the Constitution as the Commander-in Chief. About eight days ago, we had a five-hour security meeting of the service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police,” Shehu quoted Buhari as saying.
“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.”
Shehu said Buhari, who was accompanied to the meeting by Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and his counterparts from Kebbi and Niger, condoled with the affected families, the government and people of the state, and wished those injured a speedy recovery.
“Whatever is being given to the media, we have to be very responsible about it,” he quoted the President as saying.
“Take for instance the situation in Benue. The Benue subsistence farmer knows that the Nigerian cattle herder doesn’t carry nothing more than a stick, occasionally sometimes something to cut grass to feed his cattle.
“But the present 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.
“It is noteworthy that many Nigerians still acknowledge that despite the security challenges, this administration has made notable successes in the security sector.”