By Bayode Sipasi
President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to all stakeholders and actors in the persistent violence in Kaduna state to come to terms with the fact that mutual violence has no winners, but losers on both sides.
Buhari, in a statement issued on his behalf by Garba Shehu, his spokesman, said he was deeply troubled by the fact that sanctity of life is now treated with such reckless disregard that people derive joy in shedding the blood of others or perceived enemies.
He said inhumanity has replaced compassion in the hearts and minds of the perpetrators of the atrocities.
“No responsible leader would go to bed happy to see his citizens savagely killing one another on account of ethnic and religious bigotry.
“Violence cannot be the solution to these persistent conflicts as long as people resort to deliberate provocations, revenge and counter revenge.”
He said while the government remains committed to protecting its citizens, the communities involved must also put their shoulder to the wheel in order to find a lasting solution.
Buhari said lack of cooperation by those involved might frustrate government’s efforts towards finding a lasting solution, especially if those efforts are politicised.
“If the people resist government’s efforts to hold the perpetrators and their sponsors accountable, it would be very difficult to bring the violence to a permanent end.
“Everything is politicised in Nigeria, including the efforts to bring offenders to justice, because their people will rise up in arms to resist their arrests and prosecution, “ he said.
He described hate, bigotry and prejudice as “deadly poisons that have infected the human psyche on such scale that people now don’t have any moral inhibitions about taking life.”