President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Plateau State and other warring communities to give peace a chance.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, communicated this in a statement on Sunday.
His comment follows the spate of attacks experienced in Plateau State in recent times, which has claimed the lives of many citizens.
President Buhari called the people’s attention, saying it is time to unite against horrific attacks, noting that: “Retributive violence is not the answer”.
He stated that his administration would ensure that perpetrators of the act get Justice and urged the people to shun rhetoric, increasing the tension.
“Our religious, traditional and other community leaders must not allow the use of their spaces for the propagation of violence and incitement to violence.
“Attempts to simplify the reasons into a basic narrative may help raise donor-dollars for international NGOs, fill pages of overseas newspapers, and burnish foreign politicians’ faith credentials; but this does not increase understanding, nor offer solutions. If anything, simplistic theorising and finger-pointing make the situation worse.
“It is essential both for Nigerians and the international community to appreciate that there is a multitude of factors attendant to these troubles.
“There is the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorism, as well as the spate of kidnappings for ransom, transformed by some misinformed global media into a Muslim-on-Christian threat. Yet, in reality, there are no religious connotations when the primary purpose of these acts is to extract money.
“Then the herder-farmer clashes. While international voices and some Nigerian politicians who seek personal gain from division declare this a matter of religion, for those involved, it is almost entirely a matter of access to water and land. Herders have moved their cattle into contact with farmers for millennia. But, increasingly, due to population pressure, escalating aridity of northern states, and climate change, they are forced to travel further south to find grazing lands.
“Then, further afield in the South-east, IPOB is not struggling for freedom when they attack police stations and property, but rather committing acts of terrorism to steal money. IPOB is not defending Christians – as their highly-paid foreign lobbyists claim – when almost every citizen of those states they terrorise is uniformly Christian. Yet mistakenly, and because the lobbyists for IPOB have duped them, some misguided foreign media and politicians believe so,” the President explained.
The President further said Nigerians should come together and cast asunder those seeking to divide the nation for their own shameful financial and political gain.