Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on the Federal Government to stop the senseless killings of Nigerians by Fulani herdsmen.
Obasanjo, who spoke at the graveside of the 73 persons that were massacred by the herdsmen in Benue State on January 1, 2018, described the killings as senseless.
He advised Governor Samuel Ortom not to give up on the Anti-Open Grazing Law, saying he should rally all Nigerians with patriotic sentiments to end the killings in his home state
Obasanjo, who stopped over in Makurdi, Benue State capital briefly on Saturday after the meeting of the Zero Hunger Forum held in Maiduguri, also laid a wreath at the tomb of the victims of the massacre.
He argued that Nigeria couldn’t talk about a free and secure country until the killings were stopped.
According to him, “There is no doubt that we haven’t got it right. We haven’t got it right because whatever is behind this (killings), normally in any civilised society, you must get to the root of it.
“And until we get to the root of this, we will be burying victims; we will be assuming what is not assumable and we will put an end to it, and somebody must accept responsibility to put an end to this, or if it has to be collective responsibility, then so be it. But, there must be an end to it.
“Now, we cannot talk of a free country, a secure country, a country where we want development to take place, where we want to invite investors; outside and from inside, and we are suffering this type of senselessness (killings). I do hope there will be an end to this
“Governor (Ortom), please, accept my condolences and do not give up trying to work with men and women that have the interest of this state, and the interest of Nigeria at heart to find a permanent solution.
“That is to go beyond what is on the surface and we need to find out what is at that bottom of it and that is the responsibility of leaders, and of cause they must leave no stone unturned to find out the root cause of this and put a stop to it.”
On the January 1 killings and events thereafter, Obasanjo said: “It is sad beyond description for me and that it why I have taken it upon myself to visit the state to see things for myself.
“Were it that the circumstances have been normal here in Benue State, the governor would have been with us. The first meeting was held here in Benue State and I thought coming from Maiduguri to stop here to pay a condolence visit and share the sadness of the people of this state with them.
“And I thought coming to this graveside and laying a wreath will express sufficiently my sorrow and my sympathy and empathy with the families (of victims), governor and all the people of Benue State and indeed all our people in Nigeria, because, the loss of a Nigerian life anywhere is a loss for all of us.”
Obasanjo said he was even more shocked to learn that about 80 more persons had lost their lives to the herdsmen attacks since the New Year day attack.
According to him, “since the death of the 73 that were buried here, there has been more than 80 others killed in different parts of Benue. It is even more shocking to me to hear and I believe it will be more shocking to many Nigerians who will be hearing as you put it across.”
Obasanjo, who said there was hope for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), added that there was nothing worse that the loss of innocent lives, which could not be redeemed.
“I don’t want to see despair. What I want to see is hope. What I want to see bright faces on the people (IDPs). What I want to see is happiness of the people
“Nothing can be worse than what we have seen here (the mass graves), grave sight of innocent people; people that should not have died that are dead. In fact, displaced persons still have hope. But, the people that are buried here are lost and lost forever
“What do we want to say to their families, those that have their fathers and mothers slaughtered? What do we say to their children? Those that have their children slaughtered, what do we say to their parents? Those that have their loved ones slaughtered, what do we say to those they have left behind?”
Obasanjo, who said “seeing and symphatising and giving condolence is one thing”, however, stressed, “finding solution is the thing that we must all endeavour to do.”
The post FG Must Stop Senseless Killings Of Nigerians – Obasanjo appeared first on Orsu 24 News.