The presidency has identified morbid desire for money amongst the criminal minded people as the main cause of the rise of Boko Haram, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and banditry in Nigeria.
“There is the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorism, as well as the spate of kidnappings for ransom, transformed by some misinformed global media into a Muslim-on-Christian threat. Yet, in reality, there are no religious connotations at all when the primate purpose of these acts is to extract money.”
These postulations were contained in a statement today, August 30, by the Senior special assistant to the President on media and publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, against the background of the rising cases of what he called “horrific attacks.”
Garba Shehu, who stressed that the Buhari government is on top of events and is moving ahead with force to crush the perpetrators of the recent incidents of unrest in Plateau State, said that attempts “to simplify the reasons into a basic narrative may help raise donor-dollars for international NGOs, fill pages of overseas newspapers, and burnish foreign politicians’ faith credentials: but this does not increase understanding, nor offer solutions. If anything, simplistic theorizing and finger-pointing makes the situation worse.
“It is important both for Nigerians and the international community to appreciate that there are a multitude of factors attendant to these troubles.”
On the herder-farmer clashes, the presidential spokesman said that while international voices and some Nigerian politicians who seek personal gain from division declare this a matter of religion, “for those involved, it is almost entirely a matter of access to water and land.
“Herders have moved their cattle and into contact with farmers for millennia. But, increasingly, due to population pressure, the increased aridity of northern states, and climate change they are forced to travel further south to find grazing lands.
“Then, further afield in the south-East, IPOB are not struggling for freedom when they attack police stations and property, but rather committing acts of terrorism in order to steal money. IPOB is not defending Christians – as their highly-paid foreign lobbyists claim – when almost every citizen of those states they terrorize is uniformly Christian. Yet mistakenly, and because the lobbyists for IPOB have duped them, some misguided foreign media and politicians believe it so.”
Garba Shehu cautioned that while the troubled communities in the country are being reinforced with security personnel, religious, traditional and other community leaders must not allow the use of their spaces for the propagation of violence and incitement to violence.
He asked Nigerians to come together and use their hands to cast asunder, “those who seek to divide us for their own nefarious financial and political gain.”