The presidency says it has evidence that some politicians are involved in the crisis between herdsmen and farmers in different parts of the country.
Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, said this in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday.
He said this hours after Uche Secondus, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), alleged that Buhari had singled out opposition politicians for punishment.
“This is the same government that said the killers are from Libya, and that they are part of Boko Haram. They have now changed the narrative. They are now saying politicians are herdsmen,” Secondus had said on a statement.
“It is just a mere ploy to frame politicians and get them locked up. They even do that to members of their political party who do not share their ideas. They are doing that to us as well. They have left the substance and are now diverting attention from the truth.”
But Shehu appealed to Nigerians to avoid false reports.
He added that climate change, specifically the drying up of the Chad Basin has led to more pressure on the population in the northern part of the country, saying this further compounded the crisis between herders and local residents.
“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 herder-farmer clashes,” he said.
“The Nigerian government is working closely with state governments and 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.”
– The Cable