PRESIDENCY officials have asked the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to publish the names of all Fulani herdsmen currently undergoing trials across the country as the pressure mounts on the government to act on the deteriorating security situation.
Over recent months, the herdsmen saga has threatened to tear Nigeria apart as incessant clashes with local farmers have heightened tensions across the country. Tension has been particularly high across the southwest geo-political zone after herdsmen killed diasporan farmer Dr Fatai Aborode in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State.
His death lead to Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Igboho issuing a seven day quit notice to the herdsmen to leave the area, after which they were forcefully evicted. Following the success of the Ibarapa eviction, numerous communities across the southwest have solicited the help of Mr Adeyemo in removing the herdsmen within their midst.
In the midst of all this, President Muhammadu Buhari can come in for fierce criticism for his silence and inaction over the matter that has emboldened the herdsmen. Critics have accused the president of being reluctant to even criticise the murderous activities of the herdsmen as he himself is an ethnic Fulani and keeps cattle at his private ranch in Daura.
Reeling under both local pressure the presidency has finally responded with Mallam Garba Shehu, President Buhari’s spokesman revealing that many criminal Fulani herders are being prosecuted. He also insisted that President Buhari is not complicit in the herdsmen crisis that is rocking many parts of Nigeria.
Mallam Shehu said: “The president is more than concerned regarding the ongoing situation. He is fully conscious of the fact that it is the responsibility of his government to work with Nigerians to secure lives and stop the ongoing crisis whether they are kidnappings or the new line of ethnic violence.
“He condemns it and he does not support it. I hope the headquarters of the police will take responsibility and publish the full list of Fulani herders who are undergoing trials in various states, particularly in Benue State.
“Trials are going on, convictions have been made and the president cannot be complicit. It is very uncharitable as the president cannot be complicit in the kinds of things being said of him.”