President Muhammadu Buhari said, Tuesday, the opposition was blackmailing him with herdsmen and farmers clashes and asked Ekiti people to be wary of the blackmail against his person.
Buhari spoke on a day Yakubu Gowon, a former Head of State, said it was unfair to blame President Buhari for the incessant killings in the conflict between farmers and herders in some parts of Nigeria.
“They are blackmailing me, saying I have not done anything about the Farmers/Fulani herdsmen clashes because I am a Fulani man.
“But this is a cheap blackmail. We are doing everything to curtail the situation, and provide a lasting solution to the problem.”
The President, who spoke at the grand rally of APC governorship candidate, Kayode Fayemi in Ado-Ekiti, was apparently referring to the campaign stunts of the Peoples Democratic Party, branding the APC’s federal government as irresponsive to the herdsmen/farmers clashes.
Ekiti State led a couple of states in the enactment of the anti-open grazing laws, which had been criticised by the federal government.
Ayo Fayose, the Ekiti State governor, had also been frontal in accusing the President of allowing the killings to continue, citing his ethnic origin as a major factor.
But President Buhari said the allegation against him was untrue and a cheap blackmail.
Meanwhile, former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, has said it was unfair to blame President Muhammadu Buhari for the incessant killings in the conflict between farmers and herders in some parts of Nigeria.
Gowon, who was Nigeria’s military ruler between 1967 and 1975, said he believed the President had no hand in the killings.
“The Buhari I know will not be involved in such things. Certainly, no leader will encourage his people to be killed,” he said.
He spoke Tuesday at Plateau State Government House when he paid a condolence visit to Governor Simon Lalong over the resurgence of violence in the state.
At least 200 persons were believed dead in the violence in three local government areas in the state.
Gowon condemned social media reports linking the President to killings in Nigeria, describing the reports as unfortunate.
He also decried the past practice of releasing arrested suspects without their trial, stressing that “people arrested should be investigated and prosecuted in Jos where the crime was committed.”
Governor Lalong thanked him for the visit and said the state government has reviewed the state laws to prosecute perpetrators of killings, adding that the laws would soon be signed into law.
“We have reviewed adequate laws to prosecute offenders in Jos,” the governor said.
Lalong thanked Mr Gowon for standing by the state as a father, adding that all efforts were being made to restore peace to the state.