The National Public Secretary, All Progressives Congress, APC, Bolaji Abdullahi has said that incessant herdsmen killings in Benue and other parts of the country is destructive to the party’s 2019 presidential ambition.
Abdullahi made this known on Thursday night at the reading of his book, “On A Platter of Gold,” held at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
Abdullahi said the APC was worried about the negative consequence herdsmen killings was having on the party and President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“We are worried with the way herdsmen kill people and we know it has the potential to affect our political fortune if we don’t deal with it decisively with the way we dealt with Boko Haram. If we fail to do that, we also know the consequences because we had a recent experience.
“The significant part of it is that even as we speak, there are also interpretation of what is going on regarding the herdsmen that approximate closely the interpretation President Jonathan was being given about Boko Haram; you will recall that some people said what happened in Benue was communal clash, some said it was Ortom who had some militias and refused to pay them and it was the militias who turned their weapons against the people,” he said.
Abdullahi said in as much as he could not speak for the president, it was frightening to hear people’s diverse view on the herdsmen issue, adding that the interpretation being given on the matter had grave consequence on the party in 2019.
“I don’t speak for Buhari but for the party. It is frightening for us to hear this, at the party level, we are having conversation, that we want to see the president and tell him that this interpretation you are being given is potentially destructive to our party and your own position as the president and potential candidate of the party,” he added.
He said the responsibility lied on the president to take decisive action on the matter and was hopeful that the herdsmen killings would be nipped in the bud.
Ajibade also asked Abdullahi why Buhari had not visited Benue since the incident occurred, but he defended the president, saying that “we don’t know the information the president has and we don’t know what the security people are telling him. When you are in power, you are being held hostage.”
Abdullahi, however, said the APC was optimistic that the herdsmen challenge would be solved as it was the responsibility of the APC-led federal government to nip the crisis in the bud, but warned that people should have to be less inflammatory about the issue on ground.
He further said if the way to solve the herdsmen killings was to set up cattle colonies, such move should be embraced by Nigerians rather than playing the role of critics.
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