President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed shock and outrage at reports of killings of innocent persons in Omoku, Rivers State and the traditional ruler, the Etum Numana, Dr Gambo Makama, and his wife in Sango Local Government Area of Kaduna State in the New Year.
At least 20 persons were killed on thdir way from a cross-over service in Omoku in Rivers State, while the chief of Numana, Etum Numana, Gambo Makama, in Southern Kaduna was killed alongside his pregnant wife early on new year’s day. His son escaped with gun shot wounds.
At least 10 persons have been killed in the last week in Southern Kaduna, peopled mostly by indigenous Christians who accuse herdsmen of been behind the attacks.
Governor Nyesom Wike has promised a N200 million bounty for information on the killers who mauled down even women and children with their guns. He spoke on a visit to the community with the heads of security agencies in the State.
The President, according to a statement by one of his spokesmen, Mallam Garba Shehu, described the incidents as “reprehensible and unacceptable,” and directed law enforcement agencies in both states to intensify their current efforts in order to speedily bring the perpetrators to face the wrath of the law.
“I have always maintained that nothing justifies the taking of the life of an innocent person,” he said, adding that “people in our communities must learn to live peacefully.”
President Buhari appealed to the communities affected not to embark on reprisal attacks, but allow the security agencies to carry out comprehensive investigations to properly punish the culprits.
He commiserated with the families of the victims and wished the injured faster recovery.
On his part, former Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Ameachi, puts the blame on his successor, Nyesom Wike. He told State House correspondents after a meeting with the President: “I think there should be much more than age to qualify to be a governor because it takes much more than age.
“I was governor of Rivers State, I did not play PDP/APC politics. Life is life, it has no symbol. Nobody has APC life or PDP life.
“The first responsibility of a governor which is what the oath of office requires, is that you swear to protect lives and property.
“When you don’t protect life and property, what do you do? It is impeachment. Unfortunately, there is no House of Assembly in Rivers State.
“There is too much noise coming from Rivers State. The governor just wakes up and starts shouting, abusing people. That is all he does. Mr. Project painting roads.
“The first thing you do is human capacity development and keeping human beings and we are losing lives every day.”
“I just don’t know because the things are there for him to work with. He is not like me when during my second term, President Goodluck Jonathan took away Police, SSS. The Army brigade commander couldn’t visit me.
“But in his case, everyone is disposed to him. He can see the Commissioner of Police, director SSS, unlike my period but we fought insecurity.
“But because he needs these people for election purpose that is why they are still there, that is why they are killing, we need much more than that.
“Unfortunately, I swore not to be talking about Rivers anymore but you don’t keep quiet in the face of 21 lives, you can’t just keep quiet.
“I have said it that nobody should criticise his successor. But a successor that watches the lives of people go like that and does not care? God will bless him.”