Nigeria's authorities caution media over Benue herders, farmers crisis
By Mohammad Ibrahim
January 12, Abuja: Nigeria's Federal Government has appealed to the media and public commentators to exercise utmost restraint in their coverage of the fallouts of the recent farmers/herders' clash in Benue State North Central Part of the country in order not to further inflame and worsen the situation. This called came days after suspected herders attacked communities in Benue killing over 70 people. In a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday, the country's Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said while the Federal Government is working hard to address the situation with a view to preventing a recurrence, not just in Benue State but everywhere across the country, it is incumbent on the media and public commentators not to engage in actions that can aggravate the crisis. ''Lest we are misunderstood, we are neither saying the media should not cover the crisis nor asking public commentators to desist from commenting on it. All we are saying is that both must be circumspect. ''The current poisoned atmosphere of incendiary comments, unrestrained use of pictures and footages that offend human sensibilities as well as fingerpointing can only exacerbate the situation and complicate ongoing efforts to end the crisis,'' he said. Mohammed said the Federal Government is absolutely saddened by the loss of lives and the destruction of property resulting from the crisis, and recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, in commiserating with the Benue Governor, unreservedly condemned the killings and also assured of the necessary security measures to prevent further attacks and bring the perpetrators to book. He said the Federal Government has also mapped out short and long-term solutions to the incessant clashes between farmers and herders, including a planned conference of stakeholders, and assured of the government's strong determination to find a lasting solution to the farmers/herders' clashes. In Nigeria many lives and livelihoods have been lost as a result of herders /farmers clashed in some states particularly in Northern part of the country.
The Oslo Times International News Network