16 January 2018

Nigeria: Benue Killings - Presidency Replies CAN

Photo: The Guardian Nigeria
(file photo).

The Nigerian presidency has reacted to accusations by the General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Musa Asake, that President Muhammadu Buhari of bias in his handling of attacks by suspected herdsmen across the country.

Mr. Asake had addressed journalists on Tuesday in reaction to attacks that led to the death of several persons in Benue State since the beginning of the year.

The Christian leader reiterated CAN's earlier accusation that the Buhari administration was slowly accomplishing a purportedly hidden agenda to Islamise Nigeria through the recent killings.

"Under President Buhari, the murderous Fulani herdsmen enjoyed unprecedented protection and favouritism to the extent that the herdsmen treat Nigeria as a conquered territory. Rather than arrest and prosecute the Fulani herdsmen, security forces usually manned by Muslims from the North offer them protection as they unleash terror with impunity on the Nigerian people.

"The bottom line is that President Buhari failed woefully to protect Nigerians. He wilfully permitted the Fulani herdsmen to operate killing people, destroying communities wholesale, destroying farmlands and turning the entire Middle Belt into "killing fields", all the while enjoying government protection from counter attack, arrest or prosecution," Mr. Asake said.

In an email response sent to PREMIUM TIMES Tuesday evening, spokesperson of the president, Garba Shehu said it was unfortunate that Mr. Asake "could not cite any valid cases of constitutional violations" by Mr. Buhari.

Mr. Shehu said Mr. Buhari's government "poses no threat to the country's democracy and Constitution."

"There are no cases of any violation of our sacred constitution and there will be none under this President.

"The respected religious leader should stick to his religious duties and leave politics for politicians," the presidential spokesperson said.

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