Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson, has urged the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to publish the list of herders facing criminal trial in Nigeria.
Shehu, who said this during a Channels TV broadcast on Monday, added that “thousands” of people are being prosecuted for offences related to the conflict between herders and farmers.
The years-long farmers-herders clashes recently resurfaced in south-west states; Ogun, Ondo and Oyo.
In Oyo, there have been reports of attacks against herders after residents accused them of perpetrating crimes — an allegation the herders denied.
To douse the rising tension, a number of governors including Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state have proposed a ban on the movement of cattle from north to south.
Asked about some herders who had claimed responsibility for reprisal attacks in the past, Shehu said there are “thousands” of people being prosecuted under such circumstances.
“We are not following up stories as media, otherwise, if you know the thousands of people… and I hope the headquarters of the police will take responsibility and publish the full list of Fulani herders who are undergoing trials in various states particularly in Benue state,” he said.
“Trials are going on, convictions are being made and the president cannot be complicit; it is very uncharitable. The president cannot be complicit in the kinds of things being said of him.
“The president is more than concerned of the ongoing situation and he is fully conscious of the fact that it is the responsibility of his government to work with Nigerians to secure lives and stop the ongoing crisis whether they are kidnapping or the new line of ethnic violence. He condemns it and he does not support it.”
The presidential spokesperson added that community leaders must work with the president and security agencies to ensure an end to the crisis.
“Community leaders — local and traditional — must work with the president. To say the president is doing nothing is because there is impunity and impunity is in the country because there are big men, VIPs,” he said.
“The country’s military as we speak are overstretched because they are active in at least 34 of the 36 states including the FCT.”