After months of silence to the rise in communal violence by suspected Fulani herdsmen, President Muhammadu Buhari has finally directed the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin, and the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, to hunt down perpetrators of the carnage and also secure communities under attacks.
The directive came against the backdrop of the recent attack, on Monday, in Ukpabi Nimbo, a community in Enugu State, where dozens of people were reportedly killed by heavily armed herdsmen.
The directive was given on Wednesday in Abuja, by the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on behalf of the President at the public presentation of a book by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, titled, ‘Who will love my country: Ideas for building the Nigeria of our dream’.
The President has been hugely criticised for not reacting to the attacks that have now spread to other states.
He said, “Let me use this platform to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the attack perpetrated on the Ukpabu Nimbo community in the Uzo-Uwani area of Enugu State on Monday.
“I deeply sympathise with all those who lost their dear ones as well as those who lost their properties in the attack.
“I have directed the Chief of Defence Staff and the Inspector-General of Police to secure all communities under the attacks by herdsmen, and to go after all the groups terrorising innocent people all over the country. This government will not allow these attacks to continue.”
A full statement, signed by the presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, read:
Following continuing reports of attacks by “herdsmen” on communities across the country, particularly Monday’s attack on Ukpabi Nimbo in Enugu State, President Muhammadu Buhari assures all Nigerians, once again, of his administration’s continued commitment to ensuring the safety of lives and property in all parts of the country.
President Buhari unreservedly condemns the attack on Ukpabi Nimbo and other such acts of extreme violence against communities in other states of the Federation.
Acting on the president’s directive, the Inspector-General of Police and heads of the nation’s other security agencies are already taking urgent steps to fully investigate the attacks, apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
Ending the recent upsurge of attacks on communities by herdsmen reportedly armed with sophisticated weapons is now a priority on the Buhari Administration’s agenda for enhanced national security and the Armed Forces and Police have clear instructions to take all necessary action to stop the carnage.
In keeping with the President’s directive, the Inspector-General of Police, the General Officer Commanding the 82nd Division of the Nigerian Army and the Director of the Department of State Security in Enugu State have visited Ukpabi Nimbo to personally oversee investigations into the attack on the community and ongoing efforts to apprehend the culprits.
Meanwhile, President Buhari is scheduled to meet with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi later today to receive further briefing on the attack on Ukpabi Nimbo and discuss additional measures to forestall similar attacks and restore public confidence.
The President urges all Nigerians to remain calm and assured of his administration’s readiness to deploy all required personnel and resources to remove this new threat to the collective security of the nation.