In a statement on Sunday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the President was shocked at the clashes which had claimed many lives in four communities in the Agatu Local Government Area of the state.
“We will conduct an investigation to know exactly what happened; the only way to bring an end to the violence once and for all is to look beyond one incident and ascertain exactly what factors are behind the conflicts.”
Calling for unity among Nigerians, the President said;
“We are all one nation and one people, there should not be any reason why Nigerians of any group or tongue cannot now reside with one another wherever they find themselves after decades of living together.
“Once the investigations are concluded, we will act immediately to address the root of the problem.”
The scope of their attacks is now enough to “pose a serious threat to stability”, the report said.
Mr. Shehu also added; “The shape of the investigation will most likely be either the National Security Adviser’s office or the Benue State police, but I do not know all the details now,” confirming that President Buhari’s latest comments were in response to unrest in Agatu area.
The recent clash between the herdsmen and indigenes left at least 145 persons killed in 25 villages in the area. Several thousands of people have also been displaced and several settlements destroyed.
Reports say the attacks which started on February 22, are still ongoing, with tensions mounting. Benue State has a long standing history of violent attacks and reprisals between these Fulani semi-nomadic herdsmen and farmers.
According to the most recent Global Terrorism Index, these Fulani militants would be the world’s fourth deadliest militant group. In 2014, different groups of Fulani militants killed a total of more than 1,200 people.