- President Buhari's spokesperson, Garba Shehu, has accused political opposition of sponsoring unrest in some parts of Nigeria
- Shehu claimed that most herdsmen/farmers attack are driven by politicians
- He added that the president has become a victim of the tyranny of expectations
The senior special assistant on media and publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, has blamed most of the herdsmen/farmers attacks on political oppositions' unwillingness to support the federal government to stem the killings.
This Day reports that Shehu, in an article released on Sunday, April 22, said Nigerians had expected the president to undo the damage of several decades of mis-governance and naturally, many are already feeling frustrated that he hadn’t done that in three years.
Shehu, however, added that most Nigerians have unrealistic expectations of the president and this has turned the president to a victim of the tyranny of such expectations.
He said: “For President Buhari, who won with massive votes in 2015, his major challenge is to do as well as he did, or even better. He came to power with a lot of expectations and Nigerians had, justifiably placed very high hopes on him.
“As we said sometimes back, he, as a consequence, has become a victim of the tyranny of expectations. The weight of unrealistic expectations has evidently blinded many of the people from seeing the revolutionary changes happening across the nation."
Shehu also said the oppositions are not united and would fail in coming together to present a viable opponent to President Buhari.
He said: “There is no way, therefore, they can choose leaders with unanimity. What then they have taken to is scaremongering by fanning ethnic and religious divisions among the minorities, especially in the Middle Belt where hundreds of innocent citizens are confronted with violent death."
On the herdsmen/farmers clash that has led to the death of many people, Shehu said the security agencies could have done more to put a stop to the violence if they had received adequate support from opposition.
“More, however, could still have been achieved if there was cooperation extended to the security agencies by everyone, and by everyone, I mean especially the political opposition. A political warlord recently ordered the provocative stoning of Nigerian Air Force personnel as their chopper landed in a Northeastern state,” he alleged.
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Shehu added: “Government has irrefutable evidence that much as most of these killings are arising from herdsmen-farmers’ attacks, some of it is driven by politicians.
“The recent arrests by the army in Taraba state point to a clear political sponsorship and the kingpins, some of whom have been arrested and have been handed over to the DSS for further investigation. Others who are being sought have either gone into hiding or they are pulling strings of blackmail to force the hand of government to abandon the search for them.
“It is clear by now that the Middle Belt killings, even if they are not caused by the opposition, are no doubt seen as a political opportunity to set the tone for the 2019 elections.
“A so-called Third Force has failed to get political traction since its birth. This is understandable, given that they have promised to give the country everything that is new but have so far produced no new faces, no new ways of doing things. Certainly, there is no face that can be called the President of Nigeria.
“For the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) parading itself on the glory of being the largest opposition, the party has not less than 10 leaders acutely ambitious to rule Nigeria. It will take them minimally two to three terms of presidential tenure, that is eight to twelve years to reinvent the party.”
NAIJ.com earlier reported that some unknown gunmen had stormed two communities in Kogi state on Sunday, April 22.
The gunmen suspected to be herdsmen were said to have killed 16 people in Bassa local government area of the state while many houses including that of the late Madaki were burnt down.
A traditional leader in one of the communities said the attackers stormed the area in the early hours of Sunday, April 22, and the killing spread to other villages by noon.
TY Danjuma, Nigerian army and the herdsmen crisis | NAIJ.com TV