- The spate of killings in the country has been condemned by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
- He called on leaders to take responsibility on how to end the menace
- Emphasizing on the need for peace, the vice president said the responsibility of finding solutions to the problems rested on the leaders
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has tasked leaders in the country to rise to the challenge of ending the senseless killings of Nigerians.
The vice president gave the charge on Wednesday, May 23 at a leadership and stakeholders’ meeting in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital as part of his assessment visit over the recent security challenges in the state.
He recalled several killings resulting from farmers and herdsmen crisis in the region since 2006, noting that hundreds of innocent lives have already been lost this year alone and that the killings must stop.
Osinbajo said the responsibility of finding solutions to the problems rested on the leaders, adding that there was no need to shift blames or point accusing fingers.
The vice president stated: “It is very important we recognize that the place of leadership is so critical in the resolution of all the problems of this state and of our our nation. Leadership loses relevance where there is no peace and the people are running all over the place and are unable to find security.
“You and I are responsible before God, there is no leader or any religion that will promote the killing of other people and that is why it is the responsibility of all of us as leaders to ensure that no life is lost whether that life is Tiv, Fulani, or whatever that life may be.
“God has placed us in positions of leadership so that we would protect lives, and they do not have to be lives of those who speak the same language with us or belong our religion or tribe.
“God established us as leaders because He believes that we are responsible enough not to allow a situation where people will be killed and we look the other way because they did not belong to our tribe, our religion or not agree with us. He has given us a role which goes beyond that of the common man. Leadership is a God given duty and we must do what God expects of us."
He said that finding solution to the problems required the collaboration of government and the local authority to take appropriate action.
“On the part of government, it is our business to provide security. We have deployed special forces and we intend to do more in all the states where we have had these crisis. Mr President, just about two days ago, was reviewing the position in both Benue and Nasarawa states, especially the special forces that have been deployed to ensure the crisis comes to an end," the vice president added.
Osinbajo said the federal government is collaborating with the state government with the view to providing the necessary facilities that would ensure that farmers and herdsmen live in relative peace.
He said the federal government was determined to ensure that peace was restored to the communities affected by the crisis and that the people displaced and accommodated in various camps return to their homes to continue with their normal lives.
Earlier, Governor Umaru Al-Makura commended the efforts of the federal government towards finding a solution to the problem and promised the state government’s support in that direction.
He noted the state government had adopted a community based conflict resolution mechanism to address farmers -herdsmen crisis and this had yielded great results over the past few years. He added that the current challenges was occasioned by the implementation of the anti- grazing law in Benue, which resulted in massive migration of people into Nasarawa state.
Al-Makura appealed to the vice president to look into the plight of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP)in the state with the view to giving them succour.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that representatives of the traditional institution Andoma of Doma, Alhaji Aliyu Oga; Boniface Ifer, President Tiv Development association and Hussaini Mohammed, state chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle breeders all made presentations at the meeting and stressed the need for peace.
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NAIJ.com had reported that Osinbajo has assured the people of Benue that the killers of the two catholic priests; Reverend Fathers Felix Tyolaha and Joseph Gor and 17 other parishioners killed by gunmen during a church service at Saint Ignatius Parish, Mbalom, will not go unpunished.
Osinbajo gave the assurance on Tuesday, May 22, at Ayati, a small hilltop village situated on the outskirts of Ikpayongo, in Gwer East local government council, during the burial of the victims of the April 24 church attack.
The vice president, who was accompanied on the trip by ministers, top ranking politicians of different political shades, expressed the federal government’s commitment to end the attacks. He said the perpetrators of such dastardly and heinous crimes do not deserve to live among decent people but prayed for the conversion of their souls.
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