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Presidency faults UN report on violence

The Presidency on Friday says that the UN Rapporteur on violence in Nigeria was inadequate and does not reflect the true situation in the country.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, described the report as disappointing.

He said: “We have read press reports of the UN rapporteur on violence in Nigeria.

“While we agree that the violence in Nigeria, or in any country, is a major concern and that there is a rippling effect, we are disappointed that the rapporteur was silent on intra-group violence.

He pointed out that the Federal and State governments have handled violence in the country effectively.

“There is absolutely no doubt that violence between farmers and herders, which has a long history in our country spiked in recent years but the effectiveness with which the Federal and State authorities responded made a big difference.

“Calm has virtually returned to all parts affected by the peculiar violence.

“Therefore, we are saddened that the rapporteur did not address intra-ethnic conflicts and cattle rustling as key elements in herder/farmer conflicts. In Benue State, for instance, the Tiv/Jukun conflict and kidnapping is a major problem.

According to him, arrests, prosecution and locking people up are only small parts of National Security and Safety strategy.

He went on: “In Benue State, as cited earlier, the work of a US scholar of Tiv extraction, Professor Dick Adzenge deserves special mention for attempting to get aspects of violence addressed.

The UN representative, he said, needed to be truthful and even-handed in her assignment.

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