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15 Jan 2018

President Buhari Set To Meet Benue Leaders Today Over Recent Killings in The State

President Muhammadu Buhari is reportedly set to meet with the leaders of the crisis-ridden North Central Nigerian state of Benue.
Samuel Ortom and Muhammadu Buhari
It has been revealed that the Nigerian President ,Mr Muhammadu Buhari will on Monday (today) meet some leaders from Benue State over the recent killings recorded in the state.

According to Punch Metro, those expected at the meeting scheduled to hold at the Presidential Villa, Abuja include political, traditional and opinion leaders from the state.

A top government source told journalists on the condition of anonymity on Sunday that Governor Samuel Orton was expected to lead the state delegation that would include federal and state lawmakers as well as traditional rulers to the meeting.

Security chiefs are also expected at the meeting.

The source described the meeting as one of the ways Buhari was responding to the recent violent attacks on communities in the state by Fulani herdsmen.

The source said, “The urgent meeting is inevitable because of the frequency and scale of such violence and the reactions that have trailed the incidents.

“The Presidency has been embarrassed by the large scale loss of lives caused by such repeated violence against innocent people.”

He also gave an indication that the state governor might be asked at the meeting to explain his alleged role in arming some militias in the state.

“Discussions at the meeting will address the issue of the Fulani herdsmen, which is at issue but may go beyond their menace to include the issue of the arming, training and financing of militia groups by some state governments,” he said.

The government official recalled the recent arrest of some armed militia members by the army and their confession of being armed by the Benue State Government.

This, he explained, had added a new twist to the Benue saga.

“It should not surprise anyone if the Presidency seeks an explanation about this from the governor with a view to getting to the root of the state’s security challenges,” he added.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity,  Garba Shehu, confirmed that the meeting with the Benue leaders is on the President’s schedule for Monday.

Shehu however said  he had not been briefed on the issues to be discussed at the meeting.

The presidential spokesman said, “The government welcomes any initiative by any group that would provide lasting solutions to be country’s security problems.

“Security entails collective participation of all and it is, in the President’s view better for all to come together to find solutions instead of anyone trading blames.”

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