Nigeria’s Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says allowing politics to play a part in the killings in different parts of the country is like pouring petrol into a burning fire.
He also appealed to those affected by the killings not to retaliate
He spoke at the inter-denominational church service for the 2018 armed forces remembrance day celebration, held at the National Christian Center, Abuja.
“The first obligation is to religiously defend the unity and territorial integrity of Nigeria by words and action,” he said.
“Rebuking firmly, and sometimes by recourse to law, those who by their word and action threaten to break the bond of nationhood paid for so dearly by the blood and sweat of our military.
“Second is to defend faithfully the freedoms and rights that form the fundament of our society in nationhood. We have seen in the past few years how these rights have been challenged by the mindless extremism of the Boko Haram in the north-east and how again our fallen military, the police and even the civilian populace have risen jointly to route these criminals combatants and restore peace in most communities in that zone.
“We have also seen even recently the killings that have resulted in attacks of herdsmen on farmers and communities and also where communities have attached herdsmen.
“The state of violence and loss of lives in Rivers State, the Badoo killings in Lagos and Ogun, the president has ordered the police and armed forces to deal decisively with these killings to ensure that the perpetrators are found and punished.
“He has also through various strategic meetings task security agencies to work to find lasting solutions to these issues. But we recognised that as dangerous and deadly as heartless as these killings are, it is also the danger of allowing politics to play a part and to sometimes as they say pour petrol into an already burning fire.
“We must not permit the politicisation of this tragedy. One of the reasons why for years Boko Haram strife was because of the politicisation of the insurgency. They were those who were planning to benefit politically from the tragedy and the painted the opposition then as the perpetrator.
“Our obligation is to stop them from playing dangerous politics that could threaten our unity and stability, just as we continue to enforce the peace in the troubled area.”
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