The New Year day’s killings of Benue indigenes by suspected herdsmen is still dominating headlines across the country.
– The federal government has been heavily criticised for not addressing the issue promptly
– President Muhammadu Buhari is now making efforts to calm frayed nerves as he plans to meet some Benue leaders
A report by The Punch indicates that President Muhammadu Buhari will on Monday, January 15 meet some leaders from Benue over the recent killings in the state.
According to the report, those expected at the meeting scheduled to hold at the Presidential Villa, Abuja include political, traditional and opinion leaders from Benue state.
A top government source quoted in the report said that Governor Samuel Orton was expected to lead the state delegation that would include federal and state lawmakers as well as traditional rulers to the meeting
Top security chiefs are also expected at the meeting.
“The urgent meeting is inevitable because of the frequency and scale of such violence and the reactions that have trailed the incidents.
“The presidency has been embarrassed by the large scale loss of lives caused by such repeated violence against innocent people,”the source said.
He also gave an indication that the state governor might be asked at the meeting to explain his alleged role in arming some militias in the state.
“Discussions at the meeting will address the issue of the Fulani herdsmen, which is at issue but may go beyond their menace to include the issue of the arming, training and financing of militia groups by some state governments,” he said.
The senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed that the meeting with the Benue leaders is on the president’s schedule for Monday.
He however said he had not been briefed on the issues to be discussed at the meeting.
“The government welcomes any initiative by any group that would provide lasting solutions to be country’s security problems.
“Security entails collective participation of all and it is, in the president’s view better for all to come together to find solutions instead of anyone trading blames,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Buhari on Sunday, January 14, met with the leadership of Nigeria’s federal legislature over the security situation in Benue state and other parts of the country.
The meeting, which held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, was attended by the Senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki, and the speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara.