The Presidency has blamed the repeated killings in parts of the country as an attempt by some individuals to create a war in Nigeria.
Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, stated this on Wednesday in Abuja during his appearance on Channels Television’s breakfast programme.
He added that while the herdsmen might have a share in the killings, the nation is being attacked by some elements of the outlawed Islamic State who sneaked into the country.
“It is very clear that there is an attempt by some people, within and outside the country, to create a war,” Shehu said on Sunrise Daily.
“There is intelligence available that clearly indicates that, yes, there are Fulani herds people who kill but this country also suffers from attacks by ISIS which has come into the country and they found a place in the cleavages that divide the country,” he added.
Several people have lost their lives since the beginning of the year in Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, and some other states as a result of the series of attacks on their communities.
While many have accused herdsmen of attacking farmers in the affected states, President Muhammadu Buhari said the herders-farmers clash is an age-long crisis.
He had also noted that it would be wrong to make such allegations, blaming the killings on fleeing men recruited by the late Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
Speaking about the situation, Shehu noted that it is the north-central region of the country that is being affected most by the killings.
He stressed that members of the Islamic State were taking advantage of the fact that the region is the ‘dividing line’ between the Muslims and the Christians, as well as the northern and southern parts of the country.
The President’s spokesman further decried that the terrorists were carrying out massive attacks on innocent citizens, citing the arrest of a suspected member of the group who attempted to kill the Muslim deputy governor of Taraba State.
He also recalled the reported killings of several persons in Benue by wanted criminal suspect Gana, stating that the Federal Government has gotten to the root of the situation.
On the proactive measure taken by the government to stop the killings, Shehu said arrests are being made while people are being declared wanted.
He, however, maintained that there was a huge mix of criminality linked to the killings while a group of people was not helping the government in solving the crisis.
The presidential aide said. “Yes, the Fulani herdsmen who taken to this criminality; there is also the Islamic State in West Africa factor, and the fact that the opposition political party seems to be operating from a different country.