President Muhammadu Buhari has accused politicians of escalating the crisis in Plateau state where over 100 persons were killed by suspected herdsmen.
Residents said herdsmen attacked villages in Bakin Ladi local government and other areas between Saturday and Sunday, killing and destroying property.
President Buhari who decried “how increasingly cheap human life was becoming in Nigeria” said some politicians were profitting drom the instability and chaos hoping it would give them advantage in the coming elections.
A statement issued by his senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, quoted the president as saying: “We know that a number of geographical and economic factors are contributing to the longstanding herdsmen/farmers clashes. But we also know that politicians are taking advantage of the situation. This is incredibly unfortunate.”
According to him, “Nigerians affected by the herdsmen/ farmer clashes must always allow the due process of the law to take its course rather than taking matters into their own hands.”
The statement said that “according to information available to the Presidency, about one hundred cattle had been rustled by a community in Plateau State, and some herdsmen were killed in the process. The state governor, Simon Lalong, had invited the aggrieved groups and pleaded against further action while the law enforcement agents looked into the matter. Less than 24 hours later, violence broke out.
“Some local thugs then took advantage of the situation, turning it into an opportunity to extort the public, and to attack people from rival political parties. There were reports of vehicles being stopped along the roads in the state, with people being dragged out of their cars and attacked if they stated that they supported certain politicians or political party.
“On his way back to Jos after attending the All Progressives Congress (APC) Convention in Abuja, the state governor had to dismantle a number of illegal road blocks set up by these thugs. There were also a number of dead bodies thugs had killed, lying along the road.”