President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the recent upsurge in communal violence by suspected herdsmen, and has ordered the police and the military to “take all necessary action to stop the carnage”.
Mr. Buhari’s directive, Wednesday, followed the latest attack, on Monday, in Ukpabi Nimbo, a community in Enugu State, where dozens of people were reportedly killed by heavily armed herdsmen.
An earlier attack in Agatu, Benue State, in March, killed over 100 people, locals said.
Mr. Buhari has been accused of not responding firmly to the attacks that have spread to other states, and has been widely criticised for his silence.
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said on Monday the government was working “silently” to end the carnage.
In a statement Wednesday, signed by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, Mr. Buhari said stopping the violence was now a priority for his administration.
Read his full statement:
Following continuing reports of attacks by “herdsmen” on communities across the country, particularly Monday’s attack on Ukpabi Nimbo in Enugu State, President Muhammadu Buhari assures all Nigerians, once again, of his administration’s continued commitment to ensuring the safety of lives and property in all parts of the country.
President Buhari unreservedly condemns the attack on Ukpabi Nimbo and other such acts of extreme violence against communities in other states of the Federation.
Acting on the president’s directive, the Inspector-General of Police and heads of the nation’s other security agencies are already taking urgent steps to fully investigate the attacks, apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
Ending the recent upsurge of attacks on communities by herdsmen reportedly armed with sophisticated weapons is now a priority on the Buhari Administration’s agenda for enhanced national security and the Armed Forces and Police have clear instructions to take all necessary action to stop the carnage.
In keeping with the President’s directive, the Inspector-General of Police, the General Officer Commanding the 82nd Division of the Nigerian Army and the Director of the Department of State Security in Enugu State have visited Ukpabi Nimbo to personally oversee investigations into the attack on the community and ongoing efforts to apprehend the culprits.
Meanwhile, President Buhari is scheduled to meet with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi later today to receive further briefing on the attack on Ukpabi Nimbo and discuss additional measures to forestall similar attacks and restore public confidence.
The President urges all Nigerians to remain calm and assured of his administration’s readiness to deploy all required personnel and resources to remove this new threat to the collective security of the nation.