By Adenike Lucas
President Muhammadu Buhari has insisted that he is working to end the herdsmen crisis.
Nigeria’s number one citizen, met with the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) led by Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama today.
The bishops who made the courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa in Abuja, said the President has squandered a lot of goodwill that brought him into office in 2015.
A statement signed by the CBCN President and Archbishop of Jos, Most Rev. Kaigama, states that: “Our beloved country appears to be under siege. Many negative forces seem to be keeping a stranglehold on the population, especially the weaker and defenceless ones.
“There is a feeling of hopelessness across the country. Our youths are restive and many of them have taken to hard drugs, cultism and other forms of violent crime, while many have become victims of human trafficking. The nation is nervous.
“Just as we seem to be gradually emerging from the dark tunnel of an economic recession that caused untold hardship to families and individuals, violent attacks by unscrupulous persons, among whom are terrorists masquerading as herdsmen, have led to a near civil war situation in many parts of the country.
“We are saddened that, repeatedly, innocent citizens in different communities across the nation are brutally attacked and their sources of livelihood mindlessly destroyed.
“Lives are wasted and property, worth billions of Naira, including places of worship, schools, hospitals and business enterprises are torched and turned to ashes.”
But, President Buhari denied the idea that he was not doing anything to stop the herdsmen crisis.
‘‘The impression created that I was sitting in an air-conditioned office and home, enjoying myself while these things happened is dishonest,” he said.
‘‘At every step, I have tried to foresee these problems because I have the experience as a former military officer who commanded three out of the four divisions of the Nigerian army, in Lagos, Ibadan and Jos.
‘‘I am quite aware of the problems we have and I am doing my best to get law enforcement agencies to be on alert.”