The Presidency says it has evidence that some politicians are involved in the killing of innocent citizens who died as a result of the crisis between herdsmen and farmers in the country.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
“As President (Muhammadu) Buhari indicated lately, there is evidence of involvement of some politicians using criminals to perpetuate the killings,” the statement said.
Shehu, however, appealed to Nigerians and members of the international community to refrain from spreading false stories and inflammatory statements concerning the recent herder-farmer clashes.
According to him, the Nigerian Government is working closely with state governments and the security services, as well as international partners in order to resolve the issue.
The President’s spokesman noted that the clashes between herders and farmers were historical while the causes of the confrontations witnessed were complex and varied.
He noted that climate change, specifically the drying up of the Chad Basin has led to more pressure on the population in the northern part of the country, stressing that this further compounded the problem.
Shehu who explained that climate change was an issue of global significance said the Nigerian Government was determined to continue working closely with its neighbours in order to ensure that a long-term solution was implemented.
He maintained that the Federal Government makes no distinction among the people and is working tirelessly to protect all Nigerian people.
“We are strongest as a nation when we are united and it is through unity that we will overcome this challenge,” the presidential aide added.
The statement was issued days after President Buhari received members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) from the 19 northern states and Abuja at the Presidential Villa.
The President had reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to bringing violent conflicts in Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba, Zamfara and other flash-points to a decisive end.
He had also urged the Christian community and Nigerians, in general, to complement government efforts by working firmly for a united and strong Nigeria.
“Government can achieve lasting peace only with the sincere and active cooperation of communities, religious leaders, youths and other stakeholders. These include the Media in whose hands lies the power to frame, shape the perspectives and narratives which influence the thinking of millions of people within and outside Nigeria.
“Let us collectively shame those who are stoking the fires of ethnic and religious conflicts for their short-term political gains. This country belongs equally to Christians and Muslims and even those who claim ignorance of God,” the President had told the Christian leaders on Thursday.