FG has no plan to colonize any part of Nigeria, says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the solutions being proposed by his government to quell frequent clashes between herdsmen and farme...

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the solutions being proposed by his government to quell frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers is not ill-informed nor to colonise any part of the country as being widely suggested.

The president was speaking at an audience with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) who tasked him and other political leaders to worry more about the many problems currently plaguing the country rather than seek re-election in 2019.

The Bishops also reminded the President that the enormous goodwill he enjoyed when he came to office on the back of his perceived integrity and ability to sanitise a system that was nearly crippled by endemic corruption, is fast depleting as a result of glaring failures of government, three years after.

Buhari in the meeting with the Bishops led by Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, explained that the intention of government is to create grazing locations for cattle herdsmen, which has now being misconstrued as another form of colonization.

The President regretted that the well-thought out policy of the Federal Government, which was conceived after wide consultations with stakeholders, had been largely misunderstood by a section of the public, as he assured the Clergymen that the Federal Government will continue to explore all opportunities and support initiatives to ensure peace and stability in restive areas.

Buhari also used the opportunity to once again condemn recent spate of killings in Benue, Adamawa, Taraba, and Zamfara states, assuring that security operatives will ensure prosecution of perpetrators and all those found with illegal arms in the affected areas.

“The impression created that I was sitting in an air-conditioned office and home, enjoying myself while these things happened, is dishonest.

‘“At every step, I have tried to foresee these problems because I have the experience as a former military officer who commanded three out of the four divisions of the Nigerian army, in Lagos, Ibadan and Jos.

“I am quite aware of the problems we have and I am doing my best to get law enforcement agencies to be on alert,” he said.

The President told the Catholic Bishops that he will continue to recount what he called “remarkable progress recorded in the areas of security, economy and the fight against corruption.”

‘‘We have done very well on security in the North East, when you compare what the condition was before we came in and what it is now.

‘‘On the economy, particularly agriculture, I am very pleased that God answered the prayers of Nigerians who prayed for bountiful harvest.

‘‘People have taken advantage of Federal Government policies and programmes to return to the farm and they have not regretted,’’ he said.

On the fight against corruption, the President reiterated that government will be guided by the law in the investigation and prosecution of all graft-related cases.

‘‘People are being prosecuted systematically with evidence.

‘‘If a permanent secretary has five houses in Abuja, two in Kaduna and one in Borno and Sokoto and he can’t account for the properties and there are bank transactions linking him to the properties, the prosecuting agencies will not have difficulties to make progress on the case.”

Responding to issues of Federal character, the President assured that no ethnic group or political zone has been deliberately marginalised in the appointments made so far, adding that he will take a second look at areas on which issues have been raised, when a compendium of all government appointments is submitted to him.

Meanwhile Kaigama, while raising their concerns following the recent killings in the country, said there is a feeling of hopelessness in the country.

His words, “There is no doubt that when you came into office, you had an enormous amount of the goodwill of Nigerians, since many saw you as a person of integrity who would be able to bring sanity into a system that was nearly crippled by endemic corruption.

“Nearly three years later, however one has the feeling that this good will is being fast depleted by some glaring failures of government which we have the moral responsibility to bring to your notice, else we would be failing in our duty as spiritual fathers and leaders.”

The Bishop who handed over a copy of their presentation to the President in a closed door meeting said, “Your Excellency, there is too much suffering in the country: poverty, hunger, insecurity, violence, fear… the list is endless. Our beloved country appears to be under siege, many negative forces seem to be keeping a stranglehold on the population, especially the weaker and defenseless ones.

“There is a feeling of hopelessness across the country. Our youths are restive and many of them have taken to hard drugs, cultism and other forms of violent crime, while many have become victims of human trafficking. The Nation is nervous.

“Just as we seem to be gradually emerging from the dark tunnel of an economic recession that caused untold hardship to families and individuals, violent attacks by unscrupulous persons, among whom are terrorists masquerading as herdsmen, have led to a near civil war situation in many parts of the country.

“We are saddened that, repeatedly, innocent citizens in different communities across the nation are brutally attacked and their sources of livelihood mindlessly destroyed. Lives are wasted and property, worth billions of Naira, including places of worship schools, hospitals and business enterprises are torched and turned to ashes.

“We are still more saddened by the recent massacre of unarmed citizens by these terrorists in some communities n Benue, Adamawa, Kaduna and Taraba States which has caused national shock, grief and outcry.

“The silence of the federal government in the wake of these horrifying attacks is, to say the least, shocking. There is a feeling of helplessness among the people and the danger that some people may begin to take laws into their hands.”

Continuing, Kaigama called on the government to take seriously its responsibility of protecting the lives and property.

He said, “We therefore earnestly urge the government to take very seriously its primary responsibility of protecting the lives and property of its citizens and ensure that such mindless killings do reoccur.

“Herdsmen may be under pressure to save their livestock and economy but this is never to be done at the expense of other people’s lives and means of livelihood. We would like to add our voice to those of other well-meaning Nigerians who insist that a better alternative to open grazing should be sought rather than introducing “cattle colonies” in the country. While thinking of how best to help cattle owners establish ranches, government should equally have plans to help the other farmers whose produce is essential for our survival as a nation.



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Google9ja News: FG has no plan to colonize any part of Nigeria, says Buhari
FG has no plan to colonize any part of Nigeria, says Buhari
Google9ja News
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