President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said that the number of persons killed in herdsmen and farmers clashes and other violent attacks in Mambilla Plateau, Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State, and Zamfara combined were more than those who lost their lives in Benue State.
Speaking in Jalingo during a meeting between the Fulani and Mambilla ethnic groups, Mr. Buhari said he ”has a way of gathering his own information on all the crises and killings in the country.”
The president recently announced his intention to visit states ravaged by violence and bloodletting in recent months. He has been criticised for not visiting the affected states since the orgy of violence began with massive casualties.
He chose Taraba as his first location while he is expected to visit Benue, Zamfara and Yobe.
PREMIUM TIMES transcribed the audio recording (some aspects inaudible) of what Mr. Buhari actually said at the parley in Jalingo.
Transcribed audio below:
More people were killed in Mambilla and in Zamfara, than in Benue. I have got my own ways of getting intelligence but because I believe that no… (Inaudible) I never went out and blamed anybody.
Why do they fail (authorities) to see that the problem is coming, why didn’t they do something about it until people and properties were being destroyed? So I decided to get here first, then I will go to Zamfara, Benue and Yobe where over 100 girls are (were) abducted.
I believe some of you will recall when I was looking for votes. I remained consistent on the same fundamental issues. First is security. The country has to be secured before we can manage it. If there is no security, nothing can be done.
And then the economy, employment of everybody and then of course, fighting corruption in all its forms.
Even the worst enemies of the APC wouldn’t say that we haven’t tried.
The two last seasons were good, there was plenty of food. I received ‘large’ information. I didn’t know. I forgot that the people from Kano… because they are richer than the people in my area (Katsina), they used to go and ‘hire’ farms. So if your family has a large farm, they divide into two, hire some part to the people from Kano and farm on one.
But for the last two years, nobody hired the farm and nobody regretted it. The second aspect came from the governor of Sokoto State. I didn’t ask him. He said this year, when Hajj operations were opened (commenced), most of those who deposited were farmers. I said, ‘I see’.
There is something we can always do when we find ourselves in the place of leadership. I cannot go and blame the SSS or the police or the army (for violence). But constitutionally, it’s always those who know a lot of it.
And for me to rise and go to the field to make noise…we know Nigerians. But what I saw and received were some pictures of people with AK 47. I said those that were arrested must be prosecuted and it must be given publicity so that whoever said it was Fulani men, who were trained by late Gaddafi and who ran away with the AK 47 or if it were a Fulani man who got AK 47, let him go to the court with the issue because that is what the (justice) system accepts.
Listen to the audio here