The Nigerian presidency has asked the police to publish a list of herders standing criminal trials in the country.
Garba Sheu, Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to President Buhari, made the call while speaking on a Channels Television programme on Monday.
The call followed a recent resurgence of farmers-herders crisis in the southwestern part of Nigeria, trailed by allegations of killings and kidnappings by Fulani pastoralists.
With rising ethnic tension in the region, the crisis has driven a national debate on open grazing, unity and security with many calling for President Muhammadu Buhari to wade in.
In the southwest, governors have banned all forms of open grazing with the cooperation of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN).
Southeastern governors have resonated a similar effort in a bid to forestall future dispute between the herders and the farmers.
But their northern counterparts, except Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, are supporting open grazing.
Ganduje, who disagreed with the open grazing arrangement, has called for the enactment of a law to abolish the movement of cattle by herdsmen from the north to other regions in the country.
An earlier statement by the presidential spokesperson said President Buhari had warned that the government would not allow any ethnic or religious group to stoke up hatred and violence against other groups.
“The president is more than concerned of the ongoing situation, he is fully conscious of the fact that it is the responsibility of his government to work with Nigerians to secure lives and stop the ongoing crisis whether they are kidnappings or the new line of ethnic violence. He condemns it and he does not support it,” Sheu said.
“Having spoken against it, it follows that all security agencies must take their line of action from the president’s remark and do that which is necessary which is to stop the escalation of the violent attacks being witnessed in some parts of the country and ensure that it does not go beyond where it has been recorded.”
Reacting to comments that the president, who is of Fulani origin had not outrightly condemned the criminal activities allegedly perpetrated by Fulani herders, Shehu described them as “uncharitable”.
He said many criminal Fulani herders were currently facing prosecution.
“Trials are going on, convictions have been made and the president cannot be complicit. It is very uncharitable. The president cannot be complicit in the kinds of things being said of him,” he said.
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