President Muhammadu Buhari, has expressed disappointment with the United Nations report on violence in Nigeria for failing to address important aspects, such as intra-group violence.
In a statement on Friday, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said that while failing to address salient issues might make it easier to blame the federal government, it would not help solve the problem of violence in Nigeria.
According to the statement, in Benue, Taraba, Cross River States and many other parts of the country, most casualties resulted from intra-group, inter-group and community violence.
While he admitted that violence between farmers and herders spiked in recent years, the president said the effectiveness of federal and state authorities’ response had restored calm to virtually “all parts affected by the peculiar violence.”
“Therefore, we are saddened that the rapporteur did not address intra-ethnic conflicts and cattle rustling as key elements in herder/farmer conflicts, the statement said.
“Ignoring the salient issues will not help to solve the problem. If you are going to address violence and the general insecurity in Nigeria, incidents everywhere should be part of the narrative. Not addressing this might make it easier to blame the Federal Government, but national peace and security is community based and a collective responsibility.
“Arrests, prosecution and locking people up are only small parts of National Security and Safety strategy.
“In Benue State as cited earlier, the work of a US scholar of Tiv extraction, Professor Dick Adzenge deserves special mention for attempting to get aspects of violence addressed. The expectation that arresting and putting people in prison is the only credible response to violence is a mistake. Professor Adzenge and a few others like him are working with young people, traditional rulers and communities to seek peaceful resolution of conflicts and encourage peaceful co-existence.
“The sort of effort we are talking about here has so far revealed interesting facts about the problem in Benue State that cannot be ignored.
“And it is the sort of support we seek from the UN rapporteur in reporting, not the report that scratches the surface of the subject then ends up blaming the government under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. The UN representative needs to be truthful and even-handed in her assignment.”
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