Buhari describes reports accusing him of being sympathetic to Fulani herdsmen as cheap blackmail

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has hit back at critics accusing him of being sympathetic to Fulani cattle herdsmen causing mayhem across the country saying it is just malicious propaganda and his government is doing everything it can to address the matter.


Over recent years, Nigeria has been wracked by continued communal violence as heavily-armed herdsmen have killed hundreds as they go around attacking farming villages. Himself an ethnic Fulani who also owns cattle, President Buhari has been accused of being sympathetic to the herdsmen and his body language has not indicated he is willing to take them on.


Speaking in Ado Ekiti yesterday during the final governorship campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Buhari said: “May I, again, clear the air on the issue of herdsmen and farmers’ conflicts, on which many politicians in their mischievous attitude have been blackmailing me and the APC-led administration, purporting that I have not taken any action on the issue because I am a Fulani man. This is cheap blackmail.


"Like I said recently, the protection of lives and property of Nigerians is my responsibility, this, I have vowed to do and will stick to the oath of office. I assure you that measures are being taken to ensure lasting solutions.”


Also, yesterday, former head of state General Yakubu Gowon stated while speaking in Jos, the Plateau State capital, that the president should not be linked with killings. Condemning the social media suggestions that the president was involved in the killings, General Gowon said the Buhari he knows will not be involved.


He, however, said people arrested in connection with the recent Plateau killings should be arrested, investigated and prosecuted where the crime was committed.  General Gowon spoke at Government House in Jos during a condolence visit to Governor Simon Lalong following last month’s attacks in state in which an estimated 200 people were murdered.