President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed what he has planned for the killer herdsmen who have been killing Nigerians, Niger Delta Avengers and Biafra agitators.
President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari during a brief chat with some journalists have revealed vital information on some burning national issues. It is one year already since he became president and has been faced with many challenges like the killer herdsmen, Niger Delta Avengers and Biafra agitators.
Buhari said: “To speak in the order the question was asked, on the herdsmen, note that Gaddafi ruled Libya for 43 years. During his 43 years, Libya was a small country in terms of population, but very big in terms of resources. They have oil reserves, light crude like Nigeria’s crude. But he was quite generous to some of the countries in the Sahel. He took their young men and trained them. But unfortunately, he didn’t train them to become electricians or plumbers, bricklayers or mechanics. They were trained to shoot and kill.
“When that administration was removed, of course, those who removed it knew that he stabilised his country by using these people from the Sahel, so they pursued them and they went back home. You know what happened in Burkina Faso, Mali, and a few of them we believe are around the North-East. I am sure you know that here in Nigeria, our border with our northern neighbour, Niger, is at least 1,500km-long; it is such an open country that you cannot stop donkeys from crossing; you cannot stop camels neither can you stop people from crossing the borders.
“Only God can effectively guide these borders. So, some of them found their way here. Even on the recent herdsmen [killings], I asked one of the governors if the herdsmen were fighting perennially with the farmers and he said there was a difference, which means that these people were either hired to come and fight and worsen the ethnic relationship in Nigeria or they have no profession other than fighting for a fee.
“But these are just reports that still have to be confirmed later. So that is what I can answer about the herdsmen and I think the law enforcement agencies are working very hard to identify them. Now about the militants in the South-South: when we came in, I got one of the senior officers [in the army], a major-general, and asked him to revisit the agreement the late Yar’Adua signed with them. I said he should get a copy of the gazette so that we could see the agreement to know what stage we were in. I haven’t received a comprehensive report on that yet, but I believe the officer is working hard. I saw him responding to some of your colleagues [journalists] a couple of days ago in the papers.
“Meanwhile, I have told the military and law enforcement agencies that the promise this government took was that this country had to be secure before it could be effectively managed. So we can’t wait for that report before the military re-organises itself and secures the Niger Delta area. So I think very soon they would do some serious operations there.
But for Biafra, those looking for Biafra have a tough job. A lot of them that have participated in the demonstrations were not born and didn’t know what people like us went through (fighting Biafra) by walking from the northern border to initially Abakiliki, then coming back and starting from Awka to Abagana and to Onitsha.We lost our friends and relatives; about two million Nigerians were killed. They thought it was a joke, so I think they have a problem.
“Kidnapping is a very serious thing because like the operations of the militants where they are destroying installations (in the Niger Delta) — I was going round the world telling people that we are going to secure Nigeria and by our performance in the North-East, they believe us and people are prepared to come and invest in Nigeria. But nobody would invest in an insecure environment. Those who had been in Nigeria for so many years can conduct feasibility studies.
“But why do they put money into paying militants or paying for corruption? This means with all the goodwill we are winning, we may not be able to benefit in the long run because of the kidnapping and the actions of the militants. So, it is a top priority for this government to address. Once we settle down to make sure that we deal with militants, we will deal with kidnappers also.”