President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the violence in Kaduna State, which claimed 20 lives in Adara community.
The deaths occurred in the latest incident between the Adara and Fulani people in the state, who have a long history of mistrust between them.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President also condemned the resurgence of cultist killings in Rivers State.
He ordered for increased community and law enforcement action against its escalation.
Buhari appealed for peace and decried the on-going culture of “an eye for an eye” that has fuelled a number of attacks and reprisal attacks, with the two communities suffering casualties in Kajuru and Kachia local governments in Kaduna State.
The President urged indigenes of Kaduna and other Nigerians to refrain from comments in the traditional and social media, especially by people who have little knowledge of the history of the longstanding conflict.
Such comments, he noted, can fuel further conflicts.
Buhari made a special appeal to traditional and religious leaders to be cautious with their comments on the conflict, insisting that whatever words they share publicly should not be inflammatory but be inspired by an interest in peace.
Condoled with those who lost loved ones in the attacks, the President said: “The entire nation grieves with you. The Nigerian army and police are already in the area to ensure that peace and security are restored.”
In response to reports of the resurgence of cultism leading to loss of lives in Rivers State, President Buhari called on law enforcement agencies to intensify their efforts to end the menace before it further escalates.
On Sunday, no fewer than eight persons were killed when a group of bandits suspected to be cultists invaded the Rumuodohia, Rumuolumeni community in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State. Rival gangs were believed to be at war. The victims are said to belong to a rival group in the area.
The killings took place between 3am and 5am. The police came in after the hoodlums had left. The Chairman, Rumuolumeni Community Development Committee, Sunny Odum, described the development as strange.
On Monday, more cult-related deaths were recorded in three communities in the state. Twelve people were killed. Seven of them were killed in the Kaani Babbe community in the Khana Local Government Area. Those killed in Kaani Babbe were identified as Mgbibari Nyornyaa, Sorlesi Youngman, Dornu Aanu, Bariagra Menebe, Lekia Eleaee, Boy Mgbibari and Sira Mgbibari.
Five persons, including a 64-year-old man, died in Rumuohia and Rumuche communities in the Emohua Local Government Area. Bright Oteh, Foundation Onuekwa and Junior Kayi were said to be among the five victims of the cult attack in Emohua. They were hit by stray bullets. It was learnt that three persons, who were hit by stray bullets, were rushed to a nearby hospital.
The President urged quick and effective intervention by community and civic leaders in support of law enforcement efforts, in all such areas bedeviled by cultist attacks and inter-communal violence.