In reaction to the non-stop violence in Plateau State, the Presidency in a statement issued by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said security forces have been deployed to crush perpetrators.
The statement read: “While these troubled communities are being reinforced with security personnel, our religious, traditional and other community leaders must not allow the use of their spaces for the propagation of violence and incitement to violence.
“Attempts to simplify the reasons into a basic narrative may help raise donor-dollars for international NGOs, fill pages of overseas newspapers, and burnish foreign politicians’ faith credentials: but this does not increase understanding, nor offer solutions. If anything, simplistic theorizing and finger-pointing makes the situation worse.
“It is important both for Nigerians and the international community to appreciate that there are a multitude of factors attendant to these troubles.
“There is the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorism, as well as the spate of kidnappings for ransom, transformed by some misinformed global media into a Muslim-on-Christian threat. Yet, in reality, there are no religious connotations at all when the primate purpose of these acts is to extract money.
“Then the herder-farmer clashes. While international voices and some Nigerian politicians who seek personal gain from division declare this a matter of religion, for those involved it is almost entirely a matter of access to water and land.
“Herders have moved their cattle and into contact with farmers for millennia. But, increasingly, due to population pressure, the increased aridity of Northern states, and climate change they are forced to travel further South to find grazing lands.