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Group tackles Atiku, Garba Shehu over Benue killings’ comments

A socio-political organisation under the aegis of Benue Republicans has described as uncomplimentary, comments by Presidential Spokesperson, Garba Shehu, and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, on the recent killing of the people of Gbeji in Ukum Local Government Area by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

While describing Shehu’s statement as “a mockery, insensitive and irresponsible”, the group said Atiku’s response was “ethnocentric and inciting”.

The Convener of BR, Peter Shande, expressed the observations in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday.

He informed Shehu that “the innocent people of Gbeji and indeed other parts of the state do not have any recorded instance of political disagreement”, with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rerd.).

Shande also challenged the presidential aide to stop defending Buhari’s inability to protect the lives of Nigerians.

He said Shehu’s assertion that Buhari and Ortom have often disagreed on political issues was elusive, meaningless and had no relationship with the unprovoked killing of the people of Gbeji in by Fulani herdsmen.

He said, “There is no recorded report that the people of Gbeji have ever disagreed on political issues with President Buhari that his Federal Government should not protect them from the rampaging killer Fulani herdsmen.

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“Does Shehu want Nigerians to believe that the killing of innocent Nigerians all over the country by the Fulani killers is a result of Buhari’s political disagreement with the various state governors?

“Is Shehu also confirming to Nigerians that killing and destruction are the ways of life of his brother Fulani herdsmen since he warned that they should not be attacked because of their way of life?

“This further confirms Shehu’s usual attempts to cover up the President’s failure or deliberate refusal to protect the lives of Nigerian citizens.”

He added, “It is disappointing that Atiku, a Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate has refused to detach himself from ethnic sentiments even in the wake of the killing of the defenseless citizens, but chose tribal loyalty and political correctness to mock the victims.

“It is rather expected that, when people are being slaughtered and displaced in times such as this, people are expected to restrain from further comments that are so sensitive that would aggravate the pains of the victims.

“It is, however, sad that despite the sustained onslaught of the marauding Fulani herdsmen on the people of the people of Benue with tacit support from the Buhari-led federal government, the response from Atiku Abubakar who bears the revered title of Zege Mule u Tiv, to dish out such inane, ethnocentric and venomous mockery statement.”

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