The Presidency on Monday said “thousands of” herdsmen are being tried and convicted across the country for illegal activities.
President Muhammadu Buhari has faced criticism for taking a soft approach to the herdsmen crisis based on ethnic affiliations.
Most herdsmen are Fulani, the same ethnicity as the President.
But speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said there is no substance to such criticism.
“I hope that the police will take responsibility and publish the full list of Fulani herders who are undergoing trial in various states, particularly in Benue State,” Mr. Shehu said. “Trials are going on, convictions are being made and the President cannot be complicit in the kind of things that are being said of him.”
Mr. Shehu also said the President is fully aware of the country’s security situation and is working to ensure the safety of lives and properties.
“The President is more than concerned about the ongoing situation,” he said “And he is fully conscious of the fact that it is the responsibility of his government to work with all Nigerians to secure lives and stop the ongoing crises, whether they are kidnapping or ethnic hatred and violence. He condemns it.
“It is for community leaders – local, traditional, and elected – to work with the President.
“The country’s military, as we speak, is overstretched because they are active in at least 34 of the 36 states of the federation, including the FCT.
“The Air Force, the police, they are recruiting, day and night; people are being trained in special operations and are being sent to the forest.”