FOR THE RECORDS:
LETTER BY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI TO SENATE PRESIDENT, BUKOLA SARAKI, ON BENUE KILLINGS, DATED JANUARY 25, 2018
I thank you for your letter Reference NASS/8S/R/01 /33 dated 18thJanuary, 2018 and I have carefully studied the resolutions and comments contained therein.
- As I briefed you and the Rt. Hon. Speaker when we met on the 14thJanuary, 2018, several courses of action had already been taken prior to the Senate Resolutions. You may recall that I told you of the following steps taken as soon as information came to me about the Benue killings.
On Thursday 4thJanuary, I sent the Minister of Interior and the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations for an on the spot assessment of the situation.
OnFriday,5thJanuary,theInspectorGeneralofPolicebriefedmeverbally on thelatestsituation. Calm hadby then beenrestored.
(iii) On Monday 8ththe Minister of Interior met with thefollowing:
GovernorsofAdamawa,Kaduna,Niger,Taraba,Benueand Nasarawa States togetherwith
Commandant General, Civil Defence
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
Comptrollers of Civil Defence from the six aforementioned states.
- After the meeting I instructed the Minister of lnterior to brief you on the information gathered so far and steps taken. On Tuesday 9thJanuary, I had a long session with Governor Ortom of Benue State during which I informed him of police arrest of some suspects with Kalashnikovs. In addition, I told him that I had instructed the IGP to speed up trial and prosecution of the suspects and give wide publicity to the police efforts.
- At the request of the Governor a meeting was held in the Presidential Villa on 15thJanuary, with a wide – cross – section of Benue personages where frank and open discussions were held and everybody in the meeting appreciated thecomplexity and difficulties of this farmer/herder strife. I assured all and sundry of mycommitment to ensure that justice is expeditiously done.
- To infer, therefore that nothing has beendone is incorrect. The police arestrenuously working to apprehend the rest of the culprits of these heartless killings.Furthermore, I have instructed the Inspector General of Police to relocate to Benue State, redeploy forces to the most sensitive areas. The Federal Government isinitiating additional measures to address these and other security challenges,alleviate the consequences of these attacks and forestall reoccurrence. The SenateResolutions itemised in your letter will be taken into consideration and Iaminstructing all relevant MDAs to factor them in their work.
- Earlier, on December 19th2017 to be precise, while receiving the Report of theCommittee which Ihad set up to review the operational, technical andadministrative structure of the National intelligence Agency(NIA), I underscored theneed to review the entire national security architecture – as I promised in myinaugural Address on 29thMay,2015. Actionis being initiated and I expect to receive maximum cooperation from the Senate, in line with paragraph (iii) of the SenateResolutions.
- Please accept, Mr. Senate President, the assurances of my highest regards.