The United States government has singled out “reign of impunity” as being rsponsible for the killings in the Middle Belt and northern Nigeria, saying it is so important that there should be very strong efforts to make sure that people are brought to justice for these terrible crimes.
The Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge de Affaires, US Embassy in Nigeria, David Young, said this in a chat with journalists on Sunday night as he responded to questions on the solution to the ceaseless killings and crisis between farmers and Fulani herdsmen in Plateau State.
Young, a methodist, had earlier delivered a sermon titled, ‘Living as a Christian in a multi-religious and multi-cultural context’ in a fellowship with church leaders in Plateau State.
He said, “On behalf of the United States government and American people, I want to express again our condolences on the tragic loss of lives across Plateau, North-Central and North-West states. Quite a lot of people have died; it has been very terrible tragedies. We want to affirm the sanctity of human lives and anytime a person dies, it is a tragic loss, be that person a Christian, Muslim, Berom, farmer or herder.
“I think it is clear, we know and government knows that as well. A lot of people are doing good things and working hard. But it needs to be even more because it is clear that there is a climate of impunity. When people are committing serious crimes, they get away with it, without being brought to justice.
“It is so important that there should be very strong efforts to make sure that people are brought to justice for these terrible crimes. It is also important to address the drivers of conflicts, address opportunity, fight poverty and provide jobs and hope for young people because definitely young people are getting into terrible groups. They really need to be part of the future and as such need mentoring and parenting.
“The Nigerian government should strengthen its laws to deal with killers.”
Mr. Young further urged the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the conduct of a free, fair, transparent, peaceful and credible process of the 2019 general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
“We want partners in ways to ensure that the kind of violence we have seen over the past months don’t flare up in any election,” he added.
The acting US Ambassador to Nigeria hailed the 83-year-old Imam of Nghar village, Gashish District, Alhaji Abubakar Abdullahi, who reportedly saved 300 persons, including Christians when suspected Fulani herdsmen invaded the village on June 24.