The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has cautioned journalists to be careful not to inflame passions in the Benue/ herdsmen crisis.
”The current poisoned atmosphere of incendiary comments, unrestrained use of pictures and footages that offend human sensibilities as well as fingerpointing can only exacerbate the situation and complicate ongoing efforts to end the crisis,” he said Saturday.
”Lest we are misunderstood, we are neither saying the media should not cover the crisis nor asking public commentators to desist from commenting on it. All we are saying is that both must be circumspect.
The minister urged the media and public commentators to exercise utmost restraint in their coverage of the fallouts of the recent farmers/herders’ clash in Benue State in order not to further inflame passion and worsen the situation.
Alhaji Mohammed said the Federal Government is absolutely saddened by the loss of lives and the destruction of property resulting from the crisis, and the Federal Government has also mapped out short and long-term solutions to the incessant clashes between farmers and herders, including a planned conference of stakeholders, and assured of the government’s strong determination to find a lasting solution to the farmers/herders’ clashes.
States in the middle belt have been rocked by attacks from suspected Fulani herdsmen in a new wave of violence which primarily stems from disputes over grazing areas for cattle. Attacks in villages in Benue state since the start of January have left 73 people dead. With communities razed and buildings destroyed.