President Muhammadu Buhari today (Wednesday) wrote the Senate to explain the steps he has taken to resolve the crisis between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Benue state.
In a letter read to the senate by Senate President Bukola Saraki, the president was quoted as saying the police, on his directive, is working strenuously to apprehend those behind the killings.
The letter reads in part: “I thank you for your letter referenced NASS/8S/R/01/33 dated 18th January 2018 and carefully studied the resolutions and comments there in. As I briefed you and the RT. Hon speaker when we met, several courses of action have been taken prior to the senate resolution.
“You may recall that I told you of the following steps taken as soon as the information came in to me about the Benue killings. One, on Thursday 4th January, I 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.
“After the meeting, i 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 i informed him of police arrests of some suspects. In addition, I told him that i have instructed the police to speed up trial of the suspects and give wide publicity of the police efforts.
“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. Everybody appreciated the difficulties of this farmers-herders strife. I assured all of my commitment and assured justice would be done.
“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.
“Furthermore, I have instructed the IGP to relocate to Benue state and redeploy forces to the most sensitive towns. The federal government is initiating measures to address these and other security challenges, alleviate the consequence of these attacks and forestall reoccurrence.
“On December 19 to be precise, while receiving the report of the committee that was set up to review the technical and administrative structure of the NIA, I underscored the need to review the entire national security architecture as I promised in my inaugural address on the 29th May 2015, action is being initiated to receive maximum cooperation from the senate in line with paragraph three of the senate resolutions.”