Following the loss of several lives as a result of the brutal attack on Benue villages by Fulani Herdsmen, it is only expected that government and other political leaders would make statements.
In Nigeria, two statements are most expected – that of the President and that of his now arch rival, former VP Atiku Abubakar who is widely expected to run for the office of the President.
Both leaders have already released their statements but we have observed that none of them specifically called out the Fulani Herdsmen in their statement.
In the case of Buhari, he described the attacks as “wicked and callous” and called for increased security for people living in rural areas
“This is one attack too many, and everything must be done to provide security for the people in our rural communities,” Buhari said.
Atiku in his own statement talked about diversity and national development. According to Atiku, it is more painful that “women and youths” are the victims of the attacks.
“That the Almighty in His Wisdom made us a nation of different tongues and tribes; made us Africa’s most populous nation with more than 300 tribes is no accident. If well enhanced, our diversity should be our biggest strength.
“There cannot be development when innocent lives are being lost in a seeming endless cycle of attacks and reprisals. While we should hold every life as precious, it is more painful that the victims of these attacks are women and youths – the demography that we depend upon to drive development.”
The reason for their silence? Probably oversight. But this is one detail too loud to ignore especially in the light of concern by many, including the Benue governor, that the herdsmen are backed by powerful Nigerians.