*says killings didn’t start under Buhari
Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
The Presidency on Wednesday said over 756 people were killed by herdsmen in two years under former President Goodluck Jonathan.
It said it would, therefore, be wrong to insinuate that the recent killings happened because President Muhammadu Buhari is a Fulani man.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, disclosed these in a video he posted on his Facebook page. He insisted that the recent spate of killings by herdsmen in parts of the country had nothing to do with Buhari being Fulani.
The presidential spokesman said, “Something that is disturbing that I have heard about it is linking those developments to the fact that a Fulani man is President and so, he is brooking such kind of evil acts.
“I think that is very unkind. And I will try to back my position with statistics.
“In 2013, particularly, there were nine cases of herdsmen invading communities in Benue state alone and more than 190 people were killed.
“In 2014, there were about 16 of such tragic developments with more than 231 people killed. And then there was a change of government in May 2015.
“But between January and May 2015, there were six attacks which left about 335 people dead.
“Now, the question is, during that period, did we have a Fulani president?”
According to him, this shows that the issue of herdsmen attacking settlements is something that government must deal with.
“It is the duty of government to preserve the lives of the citizenry. It is the responsibility of government to maintain law and order and that this government is determined to do.
“Therefore, let nobody say that all this is happening because we have a Fulani president.
“We have had many Fulani presidents in the past and this issue of herders and local communities at loggerheads has predated this government.
“But I will just like to appeal to Nigerians that the Muhammadu Buhari government is determined to crack this issue, is determined to get to the bottom of it and it will get done,” he added. (Punch)