Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says the federal government often fails to provide security for Nigerians but the failure is not deliberate.
Osinbajo said this on Thursday in Abuja while declaring open a national summit on security organised by the senate, adding that every case of killing recorded in the country “demeans us as a people and undermines the authority of the state”.
He also said the assertion that President Muhammadu Buhari has ignored the killings by herdsmen is “untrue and unfair”.
“I was in Dong village in Adamawa where herdsmen had attacked the village and killed many but the vicious killing of Fulani also in Adamawa state is worthy of mention,” Osinbajo said.
“Let me preface this by saying that every Nigerian is entitled to adequate security from government for their lives and livelihood. Government fails in that responsibility often but I must say never deliberately.
“Every killing demeans us as a people and undermines the authority of the state. This is why the suggestion sometimes that because the president is Fulani he has ignored the killings by herdsmen, that is so untrue and unfair.
“Herdsmen and farmers clashes resulting in deaths have been with us for at least two decades and I have worked with him for three years now and I do not know of one issue that has given him more concern or spent time as this particular issue.”
The vice-president said the government had deployed more policemen in Benue state to forestall the further breakdown of law and order.
“The approach of the government has been to deploy mobile police forces to these areas and also both the army and air force to Benue,” Osinbajo said.
“The army has within the last few days scaled up the size of troops and equipment in Agatu, Katsina and Logo local government areas.
“The army has also deployed troops to Nasarawa state in order to monitor and block areas using as staging points by herdsmen to attack. There cannot be too much dialogue on issues that concern lives and property.”
He said that there is need to confine cattle to ranches as this would provide quality beef and cattle.
“It is obvious that the movement of cattle especially physically and on an endless journey on the move must now continue to take a different shape especially from the economic perspective we must have other ways,” the vice-president said.
“We believe that where cattle is sedentary is would improve the productivity of cattle. The federal government cannot dictate to states what to do with their land this is so because the land use act 1978 put lands under the control of governors.”
In his address, Senate President Bukola Saraki said the summit should be a platform proffer solutions to the security challenges.
“Permit me to observe that those who are in this room have the capacity to bring about a change in this situation, to end the violence and bring succour. We have the capacity. But, do we have the political will? I daresay political will is what is required; and it is my hope that we shall marshal it as a legitimate instrument against this problem,” Saraki said.
“Indeed, there is no reason why that should not be the case. This is not a summit to trade blames – in no way is this a blame game.
“Neither is it convened so that any person or entity can take credit. We just want solutions. Solutions only. That is all Nigerians require of us.”