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Choose presidency or Miyetti Allah, Yoruba leaders tell Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari PHOTO: BAYO OMOBORIOWO

The pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, yesterday condemned Buhari’s initial remarks in the aftermath of the killings in Plateau State, asking him to choose between the presidency and being a godfather to Miyetti Allah.

The group made this known in a communiqué at the end of its General Assembly in Akure, yesterday.

Miyetti Allah has been accused of being behind the attacks. It has also issued a statement saying the killings were in retaliation over rustled cattle.

“It is very infuriating that the president’s response and that of Miyetti Allah appeared to have been authored from the same laptop,” said Afenifere, stressing: “Their reactions did not depict any sense of sympathy or regret.”

The group also rejected the Federal Government’s plan to create cattle ranches across the country.

The Plateau State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also condemned the attacks.

Its chairman, Damishi Sango, regretted that no arrests have been made, 48 hours after the incident, noting that the development leaves room for suspicion and complicity.

“It is most painful when they keep referring to the mayhem as Fulani-farmers clash,” he said.

He said: “We are worried that some people have been considered a special race allowed to carry modern and sophisticated weapons to unleash mayhem on innocent locals with impunity, while those who attempt to act in self-defence are arrested.”

It came as the Plateau House of Assembly constituted a seven-man committee to investigate the killings.

This followed a motion by Peter Ibrahim, the member representing Jos Barkin Ladi Constituency.

He told the Speaker: “Many were severely injured and a lot of houses and farmlands were destroyed. As I speak, a lot of my constituents are missing and thousands have been displaced since the ugly incident started.”

The Speaker, Peter Azi, directed the committee to report its findings in four weeks.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari visited Jos, the Plateau State capital, yesterday, where he directed security chiefs in the country to remain vigilant and ensure the protection of life and property.

At an interactive session with stakeholders in the aftermath of Sunday’s killings of more than a hundred people, he urged traditional and community leaders to complement government’s efforts by persuading their constituencies to be tolerant.

He said: “I will continue to pressurise members of the law enforcement agencies directly under me by the constitution, as the Commander-in-Chief. About eight days ago, we had a five-hour security meeting of the service chiefs and the inspector-general of police.

“What happened here in Jos is very bad. The question of leadership, from your household to whatever you are, is justice.

The bottom line is justice. That is why wherever I go, I always appeal to the leadership of the communities and the law enforcement agencies to always have control of their constituencies.”

Buhari condoled with the affected families and the government and people of the state.

The president met with traditional rulers, community and religious leaders, representatives of youths, women, trade unions, security chiefs and top government officials.

He also listened to presentations and recommendations by Alhaji Nura Abdullahi, the state chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), and Mrs. Florence Jambol, a representative of the Berom community.

He said: “Whatever is being given to the media, we have to be very responsible about it. Take for instance the situation in Benue.

The Benue subsistence farmer knows that the Nigerian cattle herder that he knows doesn’t carry nothing more than a stick, occasionally sometimes, something to cut grass to feed his cattle.

But the present herder, I am told, carries an AK47, and people are even blaming me for not talking to them because maybe (they say) I look like one of them.

“There is some injustice in these aspersions. It is noteworthy that many Nigerians still acknowledge that despite the security challenges, this administration has made notable successes in the security sector.”

Earlier in his remarks, Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong blamed parties in the conflict for reneging on their agreement to maintain peace.

“We are concerned that the sophisticated weapons used in these attacks are not those conventional to our environment for self-defence, but reflective of a terrorist invasion.

It, therefore, demands a justified response like that which was undertaken to address the Boko Haram insurgency,” he said, urging the Federal Government to establish an Emergency Special Intervention Fund.


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