Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, Saturday, in Genabe settlement, Makurdi, said that the killings in Benue state has gone beyond what Nigerians see on the surface stressing that there was every need to get to the bottom of the bloodbath in the state.
Obasanjo said this when he visited the graveside and laid wreath at the tomb of the 73 persons massacred by herdsmen on new year’s day in Logo and Guma local government areas of the state.
He noted that Nigerian leaders must carry the burden of leaving no stone unturned to get to the root cause of the killings and put a stop to it.
His words, “It is sad, it is sad beyond description and that is why I have taken it upon myself, having been to Maiduguri where we held a meeting of the Zero Hunger Forum. Where If circumstances had been normal here in Benue state the Governor would have been with us, because the first meeting was held here in Benue state.
“I felt I should come from Maiduguri to here to pay my condolence and share in the sadness of Benue people. And I felt coming to this graveside and laying a wreath will express sufficiently my sorrow and my sympathy and empathy with the family, Governor and all the people of the state and indeed all Nigerians without any exception because a loss of a Nigerian life anywhere is a loss to all of us.
“And the situation that has been described that since the death of the 73 that were buried here, there had been more than 80 others killed in different parts of Benue is even more shocking to me to hear and I believe it will be more shocking to many Nigerians who will be hearing that, as has been put across.
“There is no doubts that we haven’t got it right. We haven’t got it right because whatever is behind this, normally in any civilised society we must get to the root of it.
“And until we get to the root of this we will be burying victims. We will be assuming what is not assumable, because we must know why is this happening and who we must put and end to it. And somebody must accept the responsibility to put an end to this. Or it has to be a collective responsibility, then so be it. But there must be an end to it.
“We cannot talk of a free country, a secured country, a country where we will want development to take place, where we will want to invite investors from outside and from inside and we are suffering this type of senselessness.
“I do hope that there would be an end to this. Gorvernor, please accept my condolence and do not give up trying to work with men and women that have the interest of this state and the interest of Nigeria at heart to find a permanent solution.
“This to me go beyond what is on the surface. And we need to find out what is at the bottom of it. And that is the responsibilities of leaders and of course, they must leave no stone unturned to find what the root cause of this and put a stop to it”.
He further said, “I want to see hope, I want to see bright faces, what I want to see is happiness of the people of Nigeria. Nothing can be worst than what we have seen here. Graveside of innocent people. People that should not have died but are dead.
“In fact, displaced persons still have hope but people that are buried here are lost and lost forever. What do we say to their families, those that have their fathers and mothers slaughtered, what do we say to their children? “Those that had their children slaughtered what do we say to their parents? Those that had loved ones slaughtered what do we say to those they left behind”?, the former president asked.