Senator Iroegbu, Paul Obi, Alex Enumah in Abuja and George Okoh in Makurdi
With eight more persons felled in Adamawa and Benue States by suspected herdsmen, the federal government said again thursday that corrupt politicians were behind the killings across the nation, particularly the northern parts of the country, cautioning religious leaders against making inflammatory comments capable of worsening the already bad security situation in the country.
And as eight persons were killed in attacks by herdsmen in Kola community, Guyuk Local Government Area of Adamawa State and Tiza Village, Tormbo ward in Logo Local Government Area of Benue State, the Inspector General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, raised a team to investigate the recent killing of seven police personnel at Galadimawa Roundabout, Abuja.
The fresh accusation came through the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), while speaking at the opening of a two-day High Level Dialogue on Law and Security in Nigeria, where he appealed to religious leaders as well as the public to shun the temptation of giving the current insecurity situation a religious coloration.
He said the forum was convened against the backdrop of the severe security challenges facing the country, particularly the killings of hundreds of innocent Nigerians by suspected herdsmen on June 23 to 24, 2018 in three local government areas in Plateau State.
While describing the incidents as â€œhorrendous, depressing and alarming,â€™â€™ the AGF however, emphasised on the need for all to refrain from actions that could further aggravate the situation.
He stated, â€œLet me also use this opportunity to appeal to our religious leaders, both of the Islamic and Christian faiths, to be in the vanguard of the need for sober speech and prudent counsel in the present situation.
â€œThe rush to ascribe religious connotations to pure acts of criminality, even before investigation, can only serve to further deepen the national fault lines and inflame passions on all sides. No country survives a religious war and it is our collective prayer that Nigeria will never be pushed to that brink.â€™â€™
He urged participants to use the situation to brainstorm and proffer lasting solution to the increasing insecurity situation, which he claimed, was being fuelled by politicians who are against the anti -corruption stance of the Buhari-led administration.
â€œFrom an informed assessment of the situation, permit me to first situate the apparent upsurge in these incidents to the advent of another political season of elections and the fierce contestation for power which appears to now over-shadow all pretensions to patriotism and respect for human lives, in certain quarters.
â€œAs we approach another general election in 2019, it is easy to see the hands of corrupt politicians with contrary positions in our present security problems as they desperately attempt to discredit all the gains made by this administration, for pure political gain. We must resist these negative tendencies.â€
Malami disclosed that the Buhari administration using the instrumentality of the law, had undertaken the prosecution of politically exposed persons within and outside the security services.
The AGF declared that the issue of insecurity presently has become a matter of urgent national importance, which requires the highest sense of patriotism and diligence to address.
He told the state Attorneys-General and Commissioners for Justice that as administrators of the law in their respective jurisdictions, they must be fully ready to deploy the full weight of the law to identify and punish all perpetrators of murder and other crimes, irrespective of their religious and ethnic background, adding that they must treat all such cases of criminality as deserving the highest sanctions under the law.