Former President Olusegun Obasanjo laments that Nigeria’s ability to develop and attract investments is being scuttled by the senseless and tragic killings across the country. He made this remark at the graveside of about 73 persons buried by the Benue State Government after the January 1st 2018 massacre of locals by Fulani Herdsmen.
The former president called for an end to the carnage while he urged the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom to uphold the state’s Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranch Establishment Law. Obasanjo maintained that no words would be enough to console the victims and called on the people to join hands to collectively solve the problems.
Read what the former President said below:
“There is no doubt that we haven’t got it right. We haven’t got it right because whatever is behind this (killings) normally in any civilised society you must get to the root of it.
“And until we get to the root of this we will be burying victims; we will be assuming what is not assumable because we must know why this is happening and we will put an end to it and somebody must accept responsibility to put an end to this or if it has to be collective responsibility then so be it but their must be an end to it.
“Now we cannot talk of a free country, a secure country, a country where we want development to take place, where we want to invite investors; out side and from inside and we are suffering this type of senselessness (killings). I do hope there will be an end to this.
“Governor (Ortom), please accept my condolences and do not give up trying to work with men and women that have the interest of this state, and the interest of Nigeria at heart to find a permanent solution.
“That is to go beyond what is on the surface and we need to find out what is at that bottom of it and that is the responsibility of leaders and of cause they must leave no stone unturned to find out the root cause of this and put a stop to it,”
“And I thought coming to this grave side and laying a wreath will express sufficiently my sorrow and my sympathy and empathy with the families (of victims), governor and all the people of Benue state and indeed all our people in Nigeria because the loss of a Nigerian life anywhere is a loss for all of us.”
“Since the death of the 73 that were buried here, there has been more than 80 others killed in different parts of Benue. It is even more shocking to me to hear and I believe it will be more shocking to many Nigerians who will be hearing as you put it across.”
“I don’t want to see despair, what I want to see is hope. What I want to see bright faces on the people (IDPs), what I want to see is happiness of the people
“Nothing can be worse than what we have seen here (the mass graves), grave sight of innocent people; people that should not have died that are dead. In fact, displaced persons still have hope but the people that are buried here are lost and lost forever
“What do we want to say to their families, those that have their fathers and mothers slaughtered, what do we say to their children? Those that have their children slaughtered, what do we say to their parents? Those that have their loved ones slaughtered, what do we say to those they have left behind?”
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