Abdullah Bello FRCN
The Presidency says the government is moving ahead with force to crush the perpetrators of the recent incidents of unrest in Plateau State.
A statement by the Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, says the Presidency assures that the administration is on top of events in the state.
It urges communities to unite against the horrific attacks being perpetrated in some parts of the country, warning that retribution violence will only worsen the situation.
While the troubled communities are being reinforced with security personnel, the Presidency urges religious, traditional, and other community leaders to desist from allowing the use of their spaces for the propagation of violence and incitement to violence.
It notes that 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, cautioning however that those vilifications do not increase understanding, nor offer solutions.
The statement says it is important for Nigerians and the international community to appreciate that there is a multitude of factors attendant to the troubles, which include but are not limited to Boko Haram, ISWAP terrorism, a spate of kidnappings for ransom, and the herder-farmer clashes, transformed by some misinformed global media into a Muslim-on-Christian threat.
It explains that in reality, there are no religious connotations at all when the primate purpose of these acts is to extract money.
It observes that while international voices and some Nigerian politicians who seek personal gain from division declare the farmer-herder clashes a matter of religion, for those involved, it is almost entirely a matter of access to water and land.
The statement says herders have moved their cattle and into contact with farmers for millennia, adding that due to population pressure, the increased aridity of northern states, and climate change, they are forced to travel further south to find grazing lands.
The statement explains that further afield in the southeast, IPOB is not struggling for freedom when they attack police stations and property, but rather committing acts of terrorism to steal money.
It points out that IPOB is not defending Christians as their highly-paid foreign lobbyists claim when almost every citizen of those the states they terrorize is uniformly Christian.
The Presidency says mistakenly though, and because the lobbyists for IPOB have allegedly duped them, some misguided foreign media and politicians believe it so.
It urges Nigerians to come together and cast asunder those who seek to divide the country for their own nefarious financial and political gain.