- The presidency has described as wicked and unfounded the allegation that President Muhammadu Buhari is sympathetic to the activities of killer herdsmen
- The allegation was published as an editorial in a national newspaper
- The presidency describes the allegation as reckless, thoughtless, inflammatory and totally irresponsible
The presidency has expressed its displeasure over an editorial in a national newspaper that accused President Muhammadu Buhari of being indifferent to the atrocities being committed by killer herdsmen.
Reacting to the editorial, the presidency on Wednesday, September 5, said the conclusion by a media house that the president is sympathetic to the activities of violent herdsmen is wicked and unfounded, Vanguard reports.
NAIJ.com gathers that the presidency's reaction was contained in a statement by the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Malam Garba Shehu.
The statement read: “We reject The Punch newspaper’s September 4th, 2018, editorial which alleged that President Buhari had sympathy for criminality perpetuated by a misguided group. The editorial was not only disrespectful of the president and his office, but was also reckless, thoughtless, inflammatory and totally irresponsible.
“It is steadily becoming clear from the views, news and opinions of this newspaper that it will explore every opportunity and twist every fact to declare every Nigerian and ECOWAS member with Fulani blood a terrorists, who must be stripped of their rights as citizens, or worse subjected to ethnic cleansing.
“We believe and strongly insist that criminality perpetrated by some miscreants should not be used to demonize other responsible and decent members of the same ethnic group. The collective demonization of any ethnic group because of the misguided behaviour or conduct of criminals is improper and no responsible government will ever do so."
The media aide continued: “The Punch editorial is, therefore, sheer blackmail and mischief designed to push its own sinister and unpatriotic agenda disguised as free speech. By inciting the people against an ethnic group because of the criminal activities of a few is unhelpful and deleterious to peace.
“Rather than proffer solutions, the editorial only regurgitated simplistic narratives of complex national issues, deliberately neglecting the broader and unbiased understanding and interpretation. After the highly biased and misleading editorial, the newspaper could not but come to terms with the established fact that climate change and criminality remained key drivers of the farmers-herdsmen conflict.
“Currently, a massive and fierce military operation is going on in Zamfara state to neutralise the activities of bandits who have been sacking communities and killing innocent people, and the security outfits have been deployed to safeguard lives and property.”
According to him, Buhari's commitment to the security and wellbeing of all Nigerians is unwavering. He said no criminal group, herdsmen or ethnic militias, will be spared the wrath of the law.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that President Muhammadu Buhari blamed the herdsmen attacks across the country on infiltration by invaders from Mali and Libya.
According to President Buhari, the small arms brought by the invaders from the war-torn countries were the cause for the increase in herdsmen attacks.
TY Danjuma, Nigerian army and the herdsmen crisis | on NAIJ.com TV