Worried by the incessant killing of innocent Nigerians by Fulani herdsmen in the country, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has warned Nigerians against politicizing herdsmen killings, insisting that such interpretation has the propensity to inflame passion from certain quarters, which he said would in turn lead to unpredicted crisis in the country.
Osinbajo’s call is riding on the back of devilish rise in Boko Haram activities, which was politicized at the early stage. The Vice President therefore urged Nigerians to be wary and not make similar mistake. He was speaking yesterday at an inter-denominational church service for the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration, which held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
Osinbajo also stated that Nigerians must not politicise the development, arguing that the development could degenerate the country’s peace that is already hanging in the balance. According to him, “We must recognise that as dangerous and as deadly and heartless as these killings are, there is also the danger of our allowing politics to play a part as this could lead to what we sometimes say ‘pour petrol into an already burning fire’.
“We must not permit the politicisation of this tragedy. One of the reasons why for years Boko Haram thrived, was because of the politicisation of the insurgency. There were those who are planning to benefit politically from the tragedy and they painted the opposition then as the perpetrator. Again, we see some today who wants to benefit politically from the killings of women and children in Adamawa, Benue, Jos and several other places stoking the embers of ethnicity and religion.
“By their hate speeches, they want to fix the criminal acts of the few individuals on who thrives and hold people and they would want to create a religious crisis if they are allowed. Our obligations is to stop them from playing dangerous politics that could threaten our unity and stability just as we continue to enforce the peace in the troubled areas.”
He also praised the military personnel, especially fallen heroes, whom he said if not for their efforts, Nigerians would not have been enjoying its current peace. Again he said, “I am especially honoured to be here today to join family and friends of our departed heroes to mark this day when we remember the incredible sacrifices that they made to fill the vacuum. Every one of the men and women of our armed forces was killed in battle took the decision that they were prepared to lay down their lives for flag and country. An incredibly awful decision indeed, this promises was tested and found to have been faithfully made.
“Many died in circumstances so terrified, many have left behind so much but the greatest love is of the family that they left behind wives, husbands, children, siblings and parents. We have seen in the past few years how this rights have been challenged by the mindless extremism of the Boko Haram in the North East and how again our gallant military, the police and even the civilian population have risen jointly to rout these criminal combatants and restore peace to most communities in that zone. We have also seen even recently the killings that have resulted from the attacks of herdsmen and farmers and communities and also where farmers and communities have attacked herdsmen.”
The Vice President added that President Muhammadu Buhari, having seen the state of violence and loss of lives in Rivers State, the Badoo killings in Lagos and Ogun, has ordered the police and the Armed Forces to deal decisively with this killings and to ensure that the perpetrators were found and punished. He said, “The president has also in almost daily meetings and strategic sessions with relevant security and law enforcement agencies work to find lasting and enduring solution to this issues.”