Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has warned Nigerians against the dangers of politicizing herdsmen killings across the country in recent times, saying such interpretation could inflame passion from certain quarters that could plunge the country into unexpected crisis.
Osinbajo made the call on Sunday, during an inter-denominational church service for the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
He said his warning was against the backdrop of rise in Boko Haram following politicization of the insurgents at the early stage of their heinous activities, asked Nigerians to be wary and not make similar mistake.
“We must recognize that as dangerous and as deadly and heartless as these killings are, there is also the danger of our allowing politics to play a part as this could lead to what we sometimes say “pour petrol into an already burning fire”.
“We must not permit the politicization of this tragedy. One of the reasons, why for years Boko Haram thrived, was because of the politicization of the insurgency.
“There were those who are planning to benefit politically from the tragedy and they painted the opposition then as the perpetrator.
“Again, we see some today who wants to benefit politically from the killing of women and children in Adamawa, Benue, Jos and several other places stoking the embers of ethnicity and religion.
He used the opportunity to reinforce their commitments to Nigeria, “our obligations are to stop them from playing dangerous politics that could threaten our unity and stability just as we continue to enforce the peace in the troubled areas.”
He eulogized military personnel, especially fallen heroes, saying but for their efforts, Nigerians would not have been enjoying its current peace, “I am especially honoured to be here today to join family and friends of our departed heroes to mark this day when we remember the incredible sacrifices that they made to fill the vacuum.”
Every one of the men and women of our armed forces was killed in battle took the decision that they were prepared to lay down their lives for flag and country.
“An incredibly awful decision indeed, this promises was tested and found to have been faithfully made.
“Many died in circumstances so terrified, many have left behind so much but the greatest love is of the family that they left behind wives, husbands, children, siblings and parents.
“We have seen in the past few years how this rights have been challenged by the mindless extremism of the Boko Haram in the North East and how again our gallant military, the police and even the civilian population have risen jointly to rout these criminal combatants and restore peace to most communities in that zone.
“We have also seen even recently the killings that have resulted from the attacks of herdsmen and farmers and communities and also where farmers and communities have attacked herdsmen.”
Osinbajo said the President Muhammadu Buhari, due to the state of violence and loss of lives in Rivers state, the Badoo killings in Lagos and Ogun, has ordered the police and the Armed Forces to deal decisively with these killings and to ensure that the perpetrators were found and punished.
“The president has also in almost daily meetings and strategic sessions with relevant security and law enforcement agencies work to find lasting and enduring solution to these issues,” he added.