President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday called for an end to what he described as “the cycle of violence” in Benue and Anambra states.
In a statement signed by spokesman Garba Shehu, the President said the inclination for people to take law into their hands “in the name of revenge” will lead to “no winners . . . only losers.”
At least 11 people were killed in Gwer West Local Government of Benue State on Monday which apparently led to reprisals on innocent people by mobs that blocked roads to unleash terror and violence, according to the statement.
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The statement also said there had been the killing of innocent people in Anambra State by mobs.
“I totally condemn this latest unprovoked violence and counter-attacks on innocent people that had nothing to do with the cause of the violence,” the President was quoted as saying.
“Violence on innocent people by anybody and any group is unacceptable and indefensible.
“Hate and bigotry have eaten so deeply and violates the sanctity of life. If we allow this culture of violence to go unchecked, such mobs would destroy law and order.”
The President urged leaders of ethnic and religious groups “to play their own roles constructively in controlling their followers or members, in order to support the government’s efforts for sustainable peace.”
He cautioned Nigerians against the “temptations of taking the law into their hands in the name of revenge because there are no winners in the cycle of violence, only losers.”
The statement added that the “President sends his commiserations to the families of the bereaved and the governments and people of Benue and Anambra States.
“He also commends the police and other law enforcement agencies for their prompt response in averting the escalation of the violence, urging them to put in every effort to apprehend perpetrators of the heinous attacks.”