Presidency advocates prosecution, trial for arm-bearing herdsmen
Any herdsmen caught with illegal arms should be arrested and prosecuted, the Presidency said on Tuesday.
This stance was clarified by the president’s spokesman, Femi Adesina during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, in response to recent comments made by Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.
Ripples Nigeria had reported that Ortom opined that the silence of President Muhammadu Buhari emboldened the herdsmen towards unleashing mayhem across Nigeria.
However, Adesina exonerated the President saying, “If the Governor would say he hasn’t heard the President speak on that matter, that’s what he should make clear; it’s not that the President hasn’t spoken.
“Because the number of times the President has spoken on that issue . . . and his position has always been the same: anybody, whoever he is, that carries arms unlawfully should be arrested and prosecuted. The President has said it countless times.”
However, when asked how many herdsmen have been arrested in recent times, Adesina said “I don’t have that figure at my fingertips . . . but I know that a lot of people are awaiting trial.”
Due to the escalating clashes between farmers and herdsmen, the Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje, recently suggested that ranching was the solution to the phenomenon of herdsmen moving across the country with cattle.
Reacting to the Governor’s suggestion, Adesina said all suggestions should be discussed.
He also pointed to the Federal Government’s Ruga program, which was rejected by some states.
“Nigeria is a peculiar country where the federal government has no land,” he said. And if states say they have no land for ranches, then another solution has to be found.
“So we need to discuss these things and appraise them critically until we can get to what we can call ‘the’ solution.”