- Advises Benue citizens not to play into hands of agents of destruction
By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja said the unity of Nigeria remained his paramount objective and that of his government.
The President, according to a statement by his spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, told a delegation of the Tijjaniya Movement led by Sheikh Muhammadu Mahi Ibrahim Inyass at the Presidential Villa, that he would continue to do everything within his powers to unite Nigeria.
According to Adesina, Buhari commended the religious group for the peaceful conduct of its annual convention and urged it to bring same to bear in promoting peace, unity and inter-religious harmony in Nigeria.
“President Buhari also lauded the group for complementing government efforts in bringing social, economic development, and stability in the country by encouraging discipline, unity and spirituality among its members.
“Reiterating his remarks on Thursday at the palace of Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, after he was presented with the Holy Quran, the President said the gift of Holy Quran is the highest anyone can receive and a reminder to seek and uphold justice in the service of the nation,” the statement added.
The statement quoted the leader of the group, Sheikh Muhammadu Mahi Ibrahim Inyass, as saying that the group would continue to support and appreciate his â€˜â€˜noble agenda for the benefit of all Nigerians,â€™â€™Â Â because they believe elected officials must be â€˜â€˜accountable, incorruptible and God fearing.â€™â€™
In another statement, presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, said Buhari observed that protracted mass killings and destruction in some parts of the country especially Benue State, point to the evil design of enemies of peace and unity whom he said had desperately been trying to bring the country to this sorry point where brother kills brother, neighbor kills neighbour and community attacking and killing members of another community.
Shehu said Buhari strongly warned citizens against playing into the hands of agents of disunity, pointing out that those behind the church attack which left 18 people dead, including two priests, did not mean well for Nigeria and peaceful coexistence.Â
He also said revenge attacks that followed in which 11 members of the Hausa communities were killed were part of the agenda of bandits and their sponsors to turn Nigerians against one another, saying we must resist all temptation to fall into this laid out plan.
“The president is greatly pained by this persistent violence and the total disregard for the sanctity of life by those he called ‘these hideously evil people who have no iota of respect for humanity, decency and civilisation.’
“The president reiterates that the government will not rest on its oars in its determination to fish out these barbarous mass murderers and their clandestine sponsors. President Buhari equally assures Nigerians that measures being put in place by the government will, sooner than later, bring to an end, these extremely brutal and wanton killings,” the statement added.