President Muhammadu Buhari has listed measures the Federal Government is taking to deal with the security chalozenges in Benue State where scores have been lost since the first day of this year.
He spoke as the Upper Legislative house this Wednesday resolved to summon the Police boss, Idris Ibrahim, over the 14 days ultimatum he was given to fish out the perpetrators of the carnage that led to the killing of 73 men, women, and children in the hands of herdsmen in the State.
In neighbouring Nasarawa State, at least 10 have died in the last four days, amidst reports of security agents also losing their lives.
Buhari’s letter reads, “I thank you for your letter referenced NASS/8S/R/01/33 dated 18th January 2018 and carefully studied the resolutions and comments therein. As I briefed you and the Rt. Hon speaker when we met, several courses of action have been taken prior to the Senate resolution.
“You may recall that I told you of the following steps taken as soon as the information came into me about the Benue killings.
“One, on Thursday 4th January, I sent the Minister of Interior and the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of operations for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation. Two, on Friday 5th January, the Inspector-General of Police briefed me verbally on the latest situation, calm had then been restored.
“Three, on Monday 8th, the Minister of Interior met with the following, governors of Adamawa, Kaduna, Niger, Benue Taraba and Nasarawa together with the DG of the State Security Services, Inspector-General of Police, CG Civil Defence, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and police commissioner of the six aforementioned states.
“After the meeting, I instructed the Minister of Interior to brief you on the information gathered so far and steps taken.
“On Tuesday, 9th of January, at a session with Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state during which in informed of police arrests of some suspects. In addition, I told him that I have instructed to speed up trial of the suspects and give wide publicity of the police efforts.
“At the instance of the governor, a meeting was held in the presidential villa on 15th with a wide cross-section of Benue personalities and frank and open discussions were held. Everybody appreciated the difficulties of this farmers-herders strife. I assured all of my commitment and assured justice would be done.
“To infer therefore that nothing has been done, is incorrect. The police are strenuously working to apprehend the rest of the culprits of these heartless killings.
“Furthermore, I have instructed the IGP to relocate to Benue state and redeploy forces to the most sensitive towns. The federal government is initiating measures to address these and other security challenges, alleviate the consequence of these attacks and forestall reoccurrence. The Senate resolution itemised in your letter would be taken into consideration and I’m instructing all relevant MDAs to factor them in their work.
“On December 19 to be precise, while receiving the report of the committee that was set up to review the technical and administrative structure of the NIA, I underscored the need to review the entire national security architecture as I promised in my inaugural address on the 29th May 2015. Action is being initiated to receive maximum cooperation from the Senate in line with paragraph three of the Senate resolutions.”