2019: Stop playing politics with Benue, Rivers massacres – Osinbajo warns politicians
Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday warned politicians to desist from playing politics with the murder of innocent lives in Benue, Rivers and other parts of the country to avoid igniting another crisis.
Osinbajo cautioned that under no condition should Nigerians allow anyone to create a religious crisis.
The vice president sounded the warning during an inter-denominational church service to mark the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration at the National Christian Centre in Abuja.
He insisted that due to the prevailing circumstance regarding the violence and loss of lives in parts of the country, President Buhari had ordered the police and the armed forces to deal decisively with the situation and ensure that the perpetrators were found and punished.
He recalled that it was the politicisation of Boko Haram at the early stage of the group that gave rise to its heinous activities, and enjoined Nigerians not to fall into another trap regarding the problems associated with herdsmen.
Osinbajo said: “We must recognise that as dangerous and as deadly and heartless as these killings are, there is also the danger of our allowing politics to play a part as this could lead to what we sometimes say “pour petrol into an already burning fire.”
“We must not permit the politicisation of this tragedy. One of the reasons why for years Boko Haram thrived, was because of the politicisation of the insurgency.
“There were those who are planning to benefit politically from the tragedy and they painted the opposition then as the perpetrator.”
The Vice President continued: “Again, we see some today who want to benefit politically from the killing of women and children in Adamawa, Benue, Jos and several other places stoking the embers of ethnicity and religion.
“Our obligation is to stop them from playing dangerous politics that could threaten our unity and stability just as we continue to enforce the peace in the troubled areas.”
Vice President lauded the commitment and dedication of Nigerian military personnel to service, particularly the fallen heroes, stating that save for their efforts, Nigerians would not have been enjoying the peace.
Osinbajo said: “I am especially honoured to be here today to join family and friends of our departed heroes to mark this day when we remember the incredible sacrifices that they made to fill the vacuum.
“We have seen in the past few years how this rights have been challenged by the mindless extremism of the Boko Haram in the North East and how again our gallant military, the police and even the civilian population have risen jointly to rout these criminal combatants and restore peace to most communities in that zone.
“We have also seen even recently the killings that have resulted from the attacks of herdsmen and farmers and communities and also where farmers and communities have attacked herdsmen.”
“The president has also in almost daily meetings and strategic sessions with relevant security and law enforcement agencies work to find lasting and enduring solution to this issues,” he added.
In his sermon, Bishop of Jos Diocese Anglican Communion, Bishop Benjamin Kwashi, who represented Primate Anglican Communion, Archbishop Nicholas Oko, noted that the Armed Forces remained the only institution of hope of Nigerians.
According to him, the Nigerian military personnel laid down their lives against the Boko Haram terrorists ,against Fulani herdsmen, against kidnappers, against men and perhaps women who do not wish the country well.
He urged Nigerians to intensify prayers for peace, unity and progress of the country, he regretted that many of the nation’s military personnel have died in line of duties in their commitment to keep the nation peaceful and safe for the citizenry.