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Buhari on herdsmen crisis: People think I’m just sitting in an air-conditioned office but I’m doing my best

Buhari on herdsmen crisis: People think I’m just sitting in an air-conditioned office but I’m doing my best
February 08
18:36 2018

President Muhammadu Buhari says he is doing his best to resolve the clashes between farmers and herdsmen, even though some people think otherwise.

Critics have accused the president of not doing enough to call herdsmen to order. He has also been criticised for failing to visit Benue, which has been the worst hit of clashes between farmers and herdsmen in recent times.

But speaking when he received some Catholic bishops at the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday, Buhari said security operatives would ensure prosecution of perpetrators and all those found with illegal arms in the affected areas.

He also condemned killings in Benue, Adamawa, Taraba, and Zamfara states.

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‘‘The impression created that I was sitting in an air-conditioned office and home, enjoying myself while these things happened, is dishonest,” he said.

‘‘At every step, I have tried to foresee these problems because I have the experience as a former military officer who commanded three out of the four divisions of the Nigerian army, in Lagos, Ibadan and Jos.

‘‘I am quite aware of the problems we have and I am doing my best to get law enforcement agencies to be on alert.”

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Buhari explained that the policy proposed by federal government in response to the frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers is not meant to colonise any part of the country.

He said the intention of government is to create grazing locations for cattle rearers, which has now been “misconstrued as another form of colonization”.

Buhari regretted that the “well-thought out” policy of his administration had been largely misunderstood by a section of the public.

He, however, assured the Catholic Bishops that the government would continue to explore all opportunities and support initiatives to ensure peace and stability in restive areas.

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The president added that he would not be tired of recounting remarkable progress recorded in the areas of security, economy and the fight against corruption.

‘‘We have done very well on security in the north-east, when you compare what the condition was before we came in and what it is now,” he said.

‘‘On the economy, particularly agriculture, I am very pleased that God answered the prayers of Nigerians who prayed for bountiful harvest.

‘‘People have taken advantage of federal government policies and programmes to return to the farm and they have not regretted.”

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On the fight against corruption, the president reiterated that government would be guided by the law in the investigation and prosecution of all graft-related cases.

‘‘People are being prosecuted systematically with evidence,” he said.

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‘‘If a permanent secretary has five houses in Abuja, two in Kaduna and one in Borno and Sokoto and he can’t account for the properties and there are bank transactions linking him to the properties, the prosecuting agencies will not have difficulties to make progress on the case.”

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