By Isaac Ukpoju
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is worried that hundreds of innocent lives have been lost this year alone and vowed that the incessant killings must stop.
He urged leaders to rise to the challenge of ending the senseless killings of Nigerians.
The Vice President expressed his worries on Wednesday at a leadership and stakeholders’ meeting in Lafia, the Nasrawa state capital as part of his assessment visit over the recent security challenges in the state.
He recalled several killings resulting from farmers and herdsmen crisis in the region since 2006.
He said the responsibility of finding solutions to the problems rest on the leaders, adding that there was no need to shift blames or point accusing fingers.
“It is very important we recognize that the place of leadership is so critical in the resolution of all the problems of this state and of our nation.
“Leadership loses relevance where there is no peace and the people are running all over the place and are unable to find security.
“You and I are responsible before God, there is no leader or any religion that will promote the killing of other people and that is why it is the responsibility of all of us as leaders to ensure that no life is lost whether that life is Tiv, Fulani, or whatever that life may be.
“God has placed us in positions of leadership so that we would protect lives, and they do not have to be lives of those who speak the same language with us or belong to our religion or tribe.
“God established us as leaders because He believes that we are responsible enough not to allow a situation where people will be killed and we look the other way because they did not belong to our tribe, our religion or not agree with us.
“He has given us a role which goes beyond that of the common man. Leadership is a God given duty and we must do what God expects of us.’’
He said that finding solution to the problems would require the collaboration of government and the local authority to take appropriate action.
“On the part of government, it is our business to provide security. We have deployed special forces and we intend to do more in all the states where we have had these crisis.
“Mr President just about two days ago was reviewing the position in both Benue and Nasarawa states, especially the special forces that have been deployed to ensure the crisis come to an end, ” he said.
He said the federal government is in collaboration with the state government to provide the necessary facilities that would ensure that farmers and herdsmen lived in peace.
“We have been talking at the National Economic Council about what to do, especially about providing ranches, earth dams in grazing areas and ensuring that there is adequate provision for cattle to prevent a situation where these crisis continue. We must search for practical solutions,” Osinbajo added.
He said the federal government was determined to ensure that peace was restored to the communities affected by the crisis and that the people displaced and accommodated in various camps returned to their homes to continue with their normal lives.
Earlier, Governor Umaru Al-Makura commended the efforts of the federal government towards finding a solution to the problem and promised the state government’s support in that direction.
He noted the state government had adopted a community based conflict resolution mechanism to address farmers -herdsmen crisis and it had yielded great results over the past few years.
Al-Makura added that the current challenges was occasioned by the implementation of the anti- grazing law in Benue, which resulted in massive migration of people into Nasarawa state.
He appealed to the Vice President to look into the plight of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP )in the state with the view to giving them succour.
Representatives of the traditional institution, including Andoma of Doma, Alhaji Aliyu Oga; Mr. Boniface Ifer, President Tiv Development association and Hussaini Mohammed, state chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle breeders all made presentations at the meeting and stressed the need for peace. (NAN)