Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 6 January 2018 | 1,211 times
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris, has said that the killings in Benue State resulted from communal dispute as he observed that the Fulani herdsmen involved in the killings are Nigerians and members of the community.
Fielding questions from State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, the IGP stressed the need for members of communities to live together in peace and harmony.
Reports say over 50 persons were slaughtered by herdsmen in the latest attacks in Logo and Guma local government areas of Benue State.
The IGP said: “Obviously it is communal crisis, herdsmen are part of the community. They are Nigerians and are part of the community. Are they not?”
This is contrary to the position expressed by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, in one of his Eid-el-Kabir messages to Nigerians where he said: “All those so-called Fulani herdsmen, moving with guns, causing violence, fighting with farmers are not Nigerians.
“These are foreigners coming into Nigeria to cause a breach of the peace of the nation. They are therefore terrorists and should be treated as such by the Nigerian security agencies.
“The Nigerian herdsmen are very peace-loving and law abiding.”
But IGP Idris blamed the crisis around the country on tribal differences noting: “Let’s use the example of Benue. You know most of these states where you have several languages, you know is an issue of communal misunderstanding.”
He urged Nigerians to live in peace, saying: “I think what we should be praying for is for Nigerians to learn to live in peace with each other, I think is very important.”
On the effort to stem the recurring killings, Idris spoke about the level of policing on ground in Benue working together to resolve the situation
His words: “You know I deployed my DIG (Deputy Inspector General) there yesterday and you know we have different stages of police. You have the AIG (Assistant Inspector General) in Benue, Commissioner of Police in Benue and all of them are putting their heads together to see how we address this issue of community problems in Benue.”
“There are so many measures. For instance, in Benue, we are going to deploy more units to support the efforts the Police is making in the state to ensure we have adequate protection to the men and communities and members.”
On the escalation of attacks around the country, he affirmed that the police was not overwhelmed, noting: “Obviously I think Nigeria is well secured you have to be frank with us.”
On the arrest of an online publisher by members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) recently, he said it was the duty of the police to respond any time a crime was committed.
“Anyway, I don’t need to send anybody but whenever you commit an offense it is our duty to ensure that we respond,” he said.
He said he met with the president to discuss effective ways to police the nation.
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