French Envoy Faults Buhari on Herdsmen Killings

The outgoing French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Denys Gauer, has identified impunity and injustice as the factors driving the killings and bloodshed in Plateau, Benue, Kaduna and other parts of the country.

The outgoing French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Denys Gauer, has identified impunity and injustice as the factors driving the killings and bloodshed in Plateau, Benue, Kaduna and other parts of the country.

The envoy attributed the killings to struggle for land, noting that foreigners were not involved in the bloodshed in the Middle Belt region.

Addressing journalists in commemoration of the 2018 French National Day in Abuja on Saturday, the diplomat who would be rounding off his tour of duty at the end of the month, said Nigerians deserved to enjoy effective security and better governance than the government was currently providing.

He admonished the Federal Government to punish those behind the killings.

The envoy advised the government to develop agriculture and animal husbandry to address the crisis.

“The reason for the killings is demography; some people are fighting for land, so there must be direct policy to develop agriculture and animal husbandry. I think impunity is encouraging the killings and those responsible must be punished. I don’t believe foreigners are involved in the killings,” he said in response to a question about the claims by the Federal Government that Libyan mercenaries were responsible for the bloodshed.

The envoy added, “The second is justice. When there is that kind of killing, there must be proper prosecution and perpetrators must be properly sentenced. If that does not happen, then, it cannot end.”

Gauer noted that foreign investors and partners would not be willing to invest in the affected areas on account of the security challenges there.

According to the diplomat, Nigeria has recorded great progress against Boko Haram, but the sect, he said, had not been eliminated.

He explained that the security forces needed to maintain their offensive against the insurgents so that the displaced persons could return to their communities.

The envoy said that there was a need for the relationship between the two countries to be expanded to involve exchange of culture, renewable energy, agriculture and smart cities.

He said France would inaugurate the “Season of African Culture” in 2020 as part of strategies to promote African culture.

The departing diplomat stated that he enjoyed Nigeria, adding that he had visited Sokoto, Kano, Enugu, Abeokuta, Osogbo, Lagos and other cities, but added that insecurity and bad roads were a challenge.

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