Christian Leaders in Meeting with Buhari
Northern Christian leaders have demanded a review of the country’s security apparatus to end the killings in their region.
The leaders made this demand in a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari held yesterday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The leaders also urged the President to facilitate the release of Leah Sharibu, the Christian girl abducted by Boko Haram alongside other students from a school in Dapchi, Borno State.
Speaking on behalf of the Christian leaders, CAN president for the northern states, Rev. Yakubu Pam, said: “The security architecture of the country should be revisited to give it a new lease of life and responsiveness to earn the required trust, confidence, and support of the general populace.
“All communities ravaged by herdsmen violence in the north should be rebuilt and adequate security put in place to enable displaced persons to return to their homes and means of livelihood.
“The Federal Government should roll out a robust advocacy programme to enlighten the nomadic herders on modern cattle rearing, as against open-grazing and roaming across states and national boundaries.”
In his response, Buhari said the claims that being a Fulani, he must be encouraging the killings being perpetrated by armed herdsmen in parts of the country seemed to him that there was no limit to the evil in the minds of men.
He said, “When some (people), for clearly political purposes, attempt to suggest that this government is doing nothing about the killings, and that I, being Fulani, must be encouraging these satanic acts, it seems to me that there is no limit to the evil in the minds of men.
“Otherwise, how can anyone in their right minds suggest that I, as an elected President even with substantial votes in the affected areas, will for any reason do harm by an act of omission to those same people?
“Secondly, the problems in all these areas, as you all know, are historical. There is no administration that has not had to contend with killings in these same areas over the years.
“Indeed, in 2001, you may recall that after thousands were killed in Plateau State, a state of emergency was declared and a governor was replaced by an administrator. To suggest that our administration is doing nothing is terribly unfair.
“We must not forget that the same Plateau State which has been crisis-ridden for years has in the past three years been celebrated for its peacefulness. The governor’s hard work for peace and the presence of the military’s Operation Safe Haven must have had some impact.”
The President said the government had deployed extra special forces from the Defence Headquarters.
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong was also in attendance.
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