President Muhammadu Buhari said he quietly reprimanded the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, over the killings in Benue State.
Buhari said this at the Government House Makurdi yesterday during a town-hall meeting with leaders of various groups in the state.
Presidential spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina quoted Buhari as saying that he was not in the habit of publicly rebuking his appointees as many would desire.
The president said he preferred to quietly “read the riot act” as he did to the Inspector General of Police when the Benue attacks began.
He disclosed that he even shared the IGP’s security report on the Benue crisis with Senators George Akume and Barnabas Gemade from the state.
He appealed to leaders of various groups in the state to convince their constituents that the Federal Government was doing its best to end the recurring attacks by armed herdsmen in various parts of the country.
Responding to remarks by various stakeholders during the meeting, Buhari urged them to show restraint and allow the security agencies to handle the untenable situation.
“The governor and I, and others here know that we will leave one day, but the relationship between farmers and herders will continue. I urge you to keep in touch with them and advise them to live peacefully. Nigeria has over 250 ethnic groups with different cultures and nobody can question God for putting us together,” he said.
Reacting to what he called a “shopping list” by some stakeholders, the President enjoined them to pray for the economy to improve, noting that he would not make any promises during this trip. He, however, stressed that, “When coming back on campaign, if coming back on campaign, I may promise.”
Governor Samuel Ortom said the recent attacks had displaced 170,000 people with children of school age constituting 60 per cent.