The Presidency, on Tuesday, says the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will be a talkative if he speaks on every matter including the herdsmen crisis.
Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, spoke on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme monitored by The PUNCH.
Many Nigerians including Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, had urged the President to address Nigerians and make it known publicly that he does not support the criminal activities of some herdsmen in parts of the country.
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, had also called for the enactment of a law to abolish the movement of cattle by herdsmen from the Northern part of the country to other parts in order to prevent the incessant herdsmen-farmers clashes rocking parts of the country.
When asked about the reaction of the President on the idea suggested by Ganduje, Adesina said, “When you have knotty issues like this, many ideas will be proffered, many solutions will be canvassed. The President does not have to speak on each and every one of them.
“He does not have to, it was just an idea being proffered. It should be looked into and then if it is a consensus, it should be adopted. But it is not as one idea comes the President speaks on it, another idea comes, the President speaks on it, such must be a talkative President.”
The South-West region has been in the eye of the storm lately over the activities of gun-wielding herdsmen who kidnap, kill, rape, and destroy farmlands in Yorubaland with impunity.
Many Nigerians including Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and a leader of the Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, had spoken against the killer herdsmen who move about with AK-47 rifles while private citizens are denied of ammunition to protect themselves.
However, speaking on Tuesday, Adesina said the position of Buhari has always been that anybody who bears arms unlawfully should be arrested and tried.
“His (Buhari’s) position has always been that anybody that bears arms unlawfully should be arrested and tried irrespective of where he comes from,” the presidential aide said, adding that the country must explore the option of ranching to solve the herdsmen crisis at hand.
Adesina also said contrary to claims by critics, “hundreds” of criminal herders have been arrested and tried in the past.