President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to comments made by Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, over attacks and killings in the state.
Ortom, during a visit to an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp during the week, had accused the President of doing nothing to address killings in the state and across the country.
Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen had killed at least six IDPs and injured many in an attack on a camp located along Makurdi-Lafia road.
About 11 soldiers on peace keeping mission in Benue were also killed about two weeks ago.
The governor, while calling for urgent intervention by the Federal Government, also said the country does not have a government at the federal level.
He asked the President to rise up and address the nation since he took an oath of office to secure and protect lives and property.
But Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson, in a statement on Thursday, said Buhari is saddened by the killings but sad that the governor would blame him for the attacks.
“He also states his disappointment and sadness to hear Samuel Ortom, the Governor of Benue State, make a litany of accusations against his person and his government following the recent unfortunate incidents in the state,” the statement read.
“No responsible government takes pleasure in such events as the killing of the military and that of innocent citizens taking refuge in an Internally Displaced People’s camp.
“President Buhari is deeply pained by the terrible acts of violence happening not only in Benue State but also in other parts of the country and expects that the law enforcement agencies will go to every possible extent to catch the perpetrators of these heinous acts and bring them to justice.
“The lives of fellow citizens should not be desecrated by deploying them in political diatribe which unfortunately appeared to be the intent of the string of emotional attacks and blame laid at the doors of the President for those killings by Governor Ortom.
“President Buhari took an oath to defend the life and property of every citizen, a duty he takes seriously and is committed to ensuring.
“Those citizens, regardless of their affiliations, who either incite, sponsor or are proven to be abettors of these atrocities will face the law squarely and be answerable for their crimes against our fellow citizens and nation.”
Shehu stated that the president will continue to keep security agencies on their toes.
He said Benue under Ortom ought to cooperate with the federal government in the implementation of a number of national programmes to address the underlying issues affecting peace, progress and development.
The President urged the governor to place the welfare of the people above all other interests.