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Ending attacks by herdsmen now a priority of my govt – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday condemned the attack by herdsmen on Ukpabi Nimbo village in Enugu State on Monday killing many people. A statement on Wednesday by the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, quoted Buhari as vowing to end the upsurge of attacks on communities across the country by herdsmen. Shehu issued the statement just as Enugu state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi stormed Abuja on Wednesday to protest the massacre by herdsmen. He was scheduled to meet President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Villa.

Daily Times gathered that Ugwuanyi, in whose domain the Fulani Herdsmen massacred no fewer than 40 persons and destroyed properties worth millions, would not only register the feelings of his people at the meeting with Buhari, but also protest alleged complicity by the GOC 82 Army División Enugu, the director of the Department of State Security (DSS)and Police Commissioner in the attack. Also on Wednesday, traditional rulers from the South East, reacting to the killings in Enugu by Fulani herdsmen demanded “an immediate intervention by the Federal Government” and governors of the geo-political zone. Addressing newsmen in Umuahia, the Chairman of the South East Traditional Rulers Council, His Royal Majesty, Eze Eberechi Dick, mandated the Federal Government to immediately intervene and halt the violent rampage by herdsmen across the country.

The President’s Senior Special Adviser, Shehu, stated that: “Following continuing reports of attacks by ‘herdsmen’ on communities across the country, particularly Monday’s attack on Ukpabi Nimbo in Enugu State, President Muhammadu Buhari assures all Nigerians, once again, of his administration’s continued commitment to ensuring the safety of lives and property in all parts of the country. “President Buhari unreservedly condemns the attack on Ukpabi Nimbo and other such acts of extreme violence against communities in other states of the Federation.” According to Shehu, upon the President’s directive, the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, and heads of the nation’s other security agencies were already taking urgent steps to fully investigate the attacks, apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

“Ending the recent upsurge of attacks on communities by herdsmen reportedly armed with sophisticated weapons is now a priority of the Buhari Administration’s agenda for enhanced national security and the Armed Forces and Police have clear instructions to take all necessary action to stop the carnage, Shehu assured in the statement. Shehu also noted that, the Inspector-General of Police, the General Officer Commanding the 82nd Division of the Nigerian Army and the Director of the Department of State Security in Enugu State have visited Ukpabi Nimbo to personally oversee investigations into the attack on the community and ongoing efforts to apprehend the culprits, on President Buhari’s directive.

Chairman of the South East Traditional Rulers Council, Dick, said herdsmen attacks is taking a frightening dimension and demands an immediate intervention by the Federal Government, adding that is an urgent need by Buhari curb the dangerous trend. He re-emphasized that Nigerians as people respect the sanctity of life and decried the manner by which the herdsmen destroy human lives and property with careless abandon, stressing that the situation is capable of throwing the country into crisis. While noting that Nigeria as a country is currently grappling with many security issues, the monarch warned that the Federal Government should not allow the current rampage by herdsmen to compound an already bad situation. Meanwhile, Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has sent words of consolation to Governor Ugwuanyi and the entire people of Enugu State over the unfortunate incident at Ukpabi Nimbo.

The Governor condemned the carnage and wanton destruction of human lives meted out to the defenceless people of Nimbo by the herdsmen and also condemned the excesses of the herdsmen across Nigeria, warning that the situation could degenerate into a national crisis if drastic measures were not taken by the Federal Government to the checkmate the rampage.

Governor Ikpeazu noted that the herdsmen audacious killings and sacking of communities and farmlands constitute another national security challenge and a huge threat to the peace and unity of the country, stressing that the trend is a time-bomb waiting to explode. He expressed worry over how the security apparatus of the country has treated the dangerous trend with kid gloves, resulting in more invasion of communities by the herdsmen, from Agatu, through Ondo, Delta, Benue and now Enugu. The Governor further observed that the herdsmen could be another disguised form of terrorism and insurgency and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to nip this trend in the bud before it gets out of hand like Boko Haram.

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