Herdsmen Crisis: Watch Your Utterances – Abdusalami Warns Govs

Former Head of State and Chairman, National Peace Committee, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, on Thursday admonished state governors to watch their utterances, urging them to analyse the issues at hand and work harmoniously.

Abdulsalami spoke on AriseTV The Morning Show monitored by The Nation.

While responding to questions on insecurity across the country, he said: “It is unfortunate that Governors have found themselves in such a difficult situation. It is their responsibility to govern the state regardless of who is living in their state.


“Governors must make sure there is law and order in their state. They must watch their utterances and what they say because people will take it as an order. Governors should not say things that would be misread. It is their responsibility to save lives.”

Abdulsalami called on Governors to stop the media war among them, urging them to work in unity.

He said: “Governors must work in unity, if they’ve differences, they have a forum they can resolve it. When governors are at each others’ throat, then we (masses) are the mercy of whatever anybody can do.

“It is necessary for them to sit down and analyse the situation. They should stop the media war and work in harmony.”

On the prevalent farmer-herders crises, he called on the government to study what other countries have done so it can implement and tackle the problem

Advising the government on what to do, he said: “Let me give an example of Niger state, it has started cattle ranching in some areas and trying to get herders to put their cattle in that place and to provide necessary facilities like water, road, veterinary services.

“It is unfortunate that recently, herders have started arming themselves causing problems we are going through.

“Suddenly ethnic disharmony is all over the place. You could see where herders are chased out of the southern state and cattle are killed.

“This could heighten tension in the country, you could see that people are migrating back to their state where they feel safer. God forbid this would take us back into the 1960s, where we had problems and which resulted in civil war.”

He urged Nigerians to learn from past mistakes stressing that there is a need to live in peace and harmony.

Abdulsalami called on NGOs and organisations to play their part in ensuring peace across the nation by sensitising citizens.

On creation of state police, he said: “State police is an issue that we must sit down and talk reasonably, so when we find that it is necessary to have it, then so be it. So that state Governors can have control over it as Chief security officers of their state.

“But this must not be done in an haste, we must look at the pros and cons. People are afraid they (governors) will use the state police as intimidation against their political opponents. We must also look at our finances especially with balancing security and other issues in the state.”

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