The Presidency on Sunday said it was in possession of evidence to prove that some politicians were behind the killings allegedly being carried out by herdsmen in parts of the country.
It said the unnamed politicians were using criminals to perpetuate the killings.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in a statement in Abuja.
Shehu however said climate change, especially the drying up of the Chad Basin, had also been compounding the problem.
He said the climate change, which he described as an issue of global significance, had led to more pressure on the population in the North.
The presidential spokesman however assured stakeholders that the government was determined to continue to work hard towards a long-term solution to the problem which he described as historical.
Shehu also appealed to Nigerians and members of the international community to desist from spreading false information and inflammatory statements concerning the issue.
He said the Federal Government, with the state governments, security agencies and international community should collaborate with a view to resolving the problem.
The statement read, “The Presidency is appealing to all its citizens as well as members of the international community to refrain from spreading false stories and inflammatory statements concerning the recent herders-farmers’ clashes.
“The Nigerian government is working closely with state governments and the security services – as well as international partners – in order to resolve this ongoing issue.
“The clashes between herders and farmers are historical. The causes of these confrontations are varied and complex.
“Climate change, specifically the drying up of the Chad Basin, has led to more pressure on the population in the North of Nigeria, which further compounded the problem.
“As President Buhari indicated lately, there is evidence of involvement of some politicians using criminals to perpetuate the killings.
“Climate change is an issue of global significance and the Nigerian government is determined to continue working closely with its neighbours in order to ensure that a long-term solution can be implemented.
“The Federal Government makes no distinction amongst the population and works tirelessly to protect all Nigerian people. We are strongest as a nation when we are united and it is through unity that we will overcome this challenge.”
But the Peoples Democratic Party in reacting to Presidency’s claim, said the All Progressives Congress was on the throes of death and that its panic-stricken leadership had resorted to fabrications and cheap blackmail against those leaving the party’s alleged sinking ship in droves.
The PDP said that both the Presidency and the APC were suffering from what it described as “pre-defeat trauma ahead of the 2019 elections.”
It said the APC, which it called shattered, and the Presidency, had become what it described as intensely nervous and chaotic over the soaring popularity of the PDP, adding that the ruling party was not comfortable with the desire of many Nigerians to join the former ruling party.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said the PDP was not surprised “that the APC, out of frustration, has recourse to sponsoring of spurious publications filled with deceptions, fabrications and lies against the PDP.”
He added, “The APC is particularly unsettled by the huge successes recorded by the Liyel Imoke-led PDP Contact and Integration Committee, in seamlessly galvanizing alliances among stakeholders across other parties, including those returning from the overtly dysfunctional and derelict APC.
“The APC is further disconcerted by the spirit of accommodation, agreement and oneness of purpose that pervade the alliances among old, new and returning members of the PDP in our key structure across all the states of the federation, particularly in Sokoto, Kogi, Kwara and Kano states, where all new and returning members have been accorded very warm reception.
“We know that the APC will stop at nothing in its sneaky efforts to cause confusion among our members, including suggesting that there are disagreements where none exists.
“What the APC, in its depravity and desperation, has failed to note is that the PDP had, since its repositioning, made adequate arrangements, ahead of time, to accommodate all interests and alignments in this collective quest to rescue our nation from the misrule of President Muhammadu Buhari, come 2019.
Ologbondiyan called on the APC leaders and the Presidency to further accept the fact that their party “is now beleaguered with a demystified and unpopular presidential candidate and an unelected National Chairman who is overburdened by corruption allegations and as such can no longer produce a President that will be acceptable to majority of Nigerians.”
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