The Federal Government has appealed to 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.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said while the Federal Government is working hard to address the situation with a view to preventing a recurrence, not just in Benue State but everywhere across the country, it is incumbent on the media and public commentators not to engage in actions that can aggravate the crisis.
The minister was quoted as follows in the statement issued by his Special Assistant, Segun Adeyemi: “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 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.
Alhaji Mohammed said the Federal Government is absolutely saddened by the loss of lives and the destruction of property resulting from the crisis, and recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, in commiserating with the Benue Governor, unreservedly condemned the killings and also assured of the necessary security measures to prevent further attacks and bring the perpetrators to book.
He said 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.