President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday ordered an investigation into the clashes between herdsmen and indigenes of communities in Benue State.
This is as Minority Leader of the Benue State House of Assembly, Alh. Audu Sule, has decried the incessant attacks on four major communities in Agatu Local Government Area of the state by people suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
President Buhari who expressed deep shock at the latest incident during the past week, which led to hundreds of deaths in four communities in Agatu, Benue State, ordered security agencies to get to the root causes of the problem.
“We will conduct an investigation to know exactly what happened; the only way to bring an end to the violence once and for all is to look beyond one incident and ascertain exactly what factors are behind the conflicts,” he said.
A statement by the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu also quoted Buhari as noting that all Nigerians must learn to live together as one, in peace and unity.
“We are all one nation and one people.”
“There should not be any reason why Nigerians of any group or tongue cannot now reside with one another wherever they find themselves after decades of living together,” Buhari was quoted in the statement.
It said the President further expressed condolences to the government and people of Benue State, particularly the people of the Agatu communities, assuring them that the government would do everything possible to ensure that no such incident ever occurred in their midst again.
“Once the investigations are concluded, we will act immediately to address the root of the problem,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Sule stated this in an interview recently in Makurdi. He lamented that Okokolo, Ayila, Ocholonya and Agwu,communities that were under the attack were not sharing boundaries with any state, stressing that at Agwu community,they hoisted a flag there.
”This is worrisome and a solution is needed to be proffered immediately in order to save the Agatu people from unwarranted attack which was fast turning them into refugees and vagabonds in their fatherland,” saying that the attacks had been on for sometime now.
He stated that currently,there was no police post that was functional in the area except the Divisional Police Station at Oshugudu the local government headquarters.
Alh. Audu appealed to both the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to come to the aid of the victims who are mostly women and children.
He said the victims were in dire need of medical care but that all the healthcare facilities in the area were not functioning.
He also appealed to the Federal Government to establish a military formation in the area to curb the incessant attacks and called on the National Human Rights Commission to investigate the attacks in order to ascertain the remote and immediate causes with a view to finding a permanent solution to it.
It would be recalled that the Governor of the State, Samuel Ortom,had paid a visit to the President of the country,Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso villa, who was out for an official assignment but briefed his Vice ,Prof Yemi Osinbanjo about the attack even though he had made series of effort between his Taraba and Nassarawa State counterparts to nip the killings in the bud.