Buhari writes Senate on Benue Killings, vows to arrest perpetrators
By Bimbo Ogunnaike
President Muhammadu Buhari has written a letter to the Senate informing it that it is not true that he has done nothing to resolve the crisis between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Benue State, adding that those responsible for the massacre would be apprehended.
President Buhari, in the letter dated January 18, 2018 that was read by Senate President, Bukola Saraki to the lawmakers on Wednesday, said he took steps as soon as the information got to him about the Benue killings.
President Buhari said first, he sent the minister of interior and the deputy inspector-general of police in charge of operations for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation.
“Two, on Friday 5th January, the inspector-general of police briefed me verbally on the latest situation, calm had then been restored. Three, on Monday 8th, the minister of interior met with the following, governors of Adamawa, Kaduna, Niger, Benue Taraba and Nasarawa together with the DG of the State Security Services, inspector-general of police, CG civil defence, minister of agriculture and rural development and police commissioner of the six aforementioned states”Buhari said in the letter.
“After the meeting instructed the minister of interior to brief you on the information gathered so far and steps taken. On Tuesday, 9th of January, at a session with governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state during which in informed of police arrests of some suspects. In addition, I told him that have instructed to speed up trial of the suspects and give wide publicity of the police efforts,” Buhari added.
The letter said at the instance of the governor, a meeting was held in the presidential villa on 15th with a wide cross-section of Benue personalities and frank and open discussions were held, adding that everybody appreciated the difficulties of this farmers-herders strife.
The president, who assured the lawmakers that justice would be done on the matter, said that,:“To infer therefore that nothing has been done, is incorrect. The police are strenuously working to apprehend the rest of the culprits of these heartless killings.
Buhari said he had instructed the IGP to relocate to Benue state and redeploy forces to the most sensitive towns, adding that “The federal government is initiating measures to address these and other security challenges, alleviate the consequence of these attacks and forestall re-occurrence.”