VICE President Yemi Osinbajo has warned Nigerians against politicizing herdsmen killings across the country in recent times, saying such interpretation could inflame passion from certain quarters thus cause unpredicted crisis in the country.
Osinbajo, who said his warning was against the backdrop of rise in Boko Haram following politicization of the insurgents at the early stage of their heinous activities, asked Nigerians to be wary and not make similar mistake.
He spoke Sunday, during an inter-denominational church service for the 2018Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration at the National Christian Centre, Abuja. Even as he noted that the killings were not heartless, the nation’s number two citizens insisted that Nigerians must not politicize the development so according to him, such could degenerate the country’s fragile peace. “We must recognise that as dangerous and as deadly and heartless as these killings are, there is also the danger of our allowing politics to play a part as this could lead to what we sometimes say “pour petrol into an already burning fire”. “We must not permit the politicisation of this tragedy.
One of the reasons why for years Boko Haram thrive, was because of the politicization of the insurgency. “There were those who are planning to benefit politically from the tragedy and they painted the opposition then as the perpetrator. “Again, we see some today who wants to benefit politically from the killing of women and children in Adamawa, Benue, Jos and several other places stoking the embers of ethnicity and religion. ” By their hate speeches, they want to fix the criminal acts of the few individuals on who thrives and hold people and they would want to create a religious crisis if they are allowed, “he said. He said:” Our obligations is to stop them from playing dangerous politics that could threaten our unity and stability just as we continue to enforce the peace in the troubled areas.”
He eulogised military personnel, especially fallen heroes, saying but for their efforts, Nigerians would not have been enjoying its current peace. Hear him:” I am especially honored to be here today to join family and friends of our departed heroes to mark this day when we remember the incredible sacrifices that they made to fill the vacuum. ” Every one of the men and women of our armed forces was killed in battle took the decision that they were prepared to lay down their lives for flag and country. “An incredibly awful decision indeed, this promise was tested and found to have been faithfully made. “Many died in circumstances so terrified, many have left behind so much but the greatest love is of the family that they left behind wives, husbands, children, siblings and parents. ” We have seen in the past few years how this right has been challenged by the mindless extremism of the Boko Haram in the North East and how again our gallant military, the police and even the civilian population have risen jointly to rout these criminal combatants and restore peace to most communities in that zone. “We have also seen even recently the killings that have resulted from the attacks of herdsmen and farmers and communities and also where farmers and communities have attacked herdsmen.” Osinbajo said the President Muhammadu Buhari, due to the state of violence and loss of lives in Rivers state, the Badoo killings in Lagos and Ogun, has ordered the police and the Armed Forces to deal decisively with this killing and to ensure that the perpetrators were found and punished.