There’s been widespread claims that the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo has refused to speak on killings across the country especially those perpetuated by herdsmen or against Christians.
But findings by Chronicle NG shows otherwise. The Vice President has spoken against killings in the country at a handful of occasions.
Here’s a timeline of instances where the Vice President either condemned killings in Nigeria or gave an insight to how the government is combating insecurity.
12 June 2017: At the opening session of the Golden Jubilee Conference of the Nigerian Association of Law Teachers, themed: Law, Security and National Development held at Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka, Anambra state
“Take the herdsmen and farmer conflicts. As Justice Amina Augie just said, it is first and foremost a struggle for food security, land and water resources. The context of environment and environmental justice sets the stage for meaningful engagement and arbitration.
We must also admit that these conflicts are not new. But engagement and law enforcement had kept things in check. Law enforcement must move apace with engagement. The President for example had issued a directive to the police to arrest and prosecute anyone found with weapons. This is important not only to assure the citizenry of safety of their lives and property but to prevent resort to self-help. There is a long way to go.
Just last week, I was meeting with our security agencies to sharpen our response to this problem. Our discussions centered on the robustness of law enforcement. There is no half-way house in maintaining law and order and the safety of the citizen. It is the very core of government. So, we must creatively and innovatively provide for maintenance of law and order.”
27 October 2017: Public lecture by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.
“Since 2013 the Federal government has been developing a comprehensive strategy to Counter Violent Extremism, coordinated by the Counter Terrorism Centre. The programme has three core streams The Counter- radicalisation and De-radicalisation programmes, and the Strategic Communication programme.”
5 December 2017: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at a meeting with Lamido Adamawa after communal violence in Adamawa state
“All of these killings and death, do us no good whatsoever, and paint us in a very bad light as a nation. I think it is possible for us to work out a way, by which we can prevent all of these by first of all, taking a second look at this problem. I was saying to the Honourable Minister on our flight here, that I have taken a look at some of these clashes over the years, from 1996 to this present moment; we can stop these problems, it is possible, but it will take understanding, patience, to look at what the issues are carefully, and then to proffer solutions and see those solutions through.”.
11 December 2017: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo speaking on Buhari Presidency begins National Consultation on Farmers-Herders conflicts
“There is nothing much more important now, in showing our leadership, beyond preventing tragedy and destruction of everything we have built as a nation. The entire Nigeria enterprise is bigger than other interests. The overall objective is ensuring that our nation is not enveloped by another crisis. According to the Vice President, “We now have an opportunity to do something. We have the opportunity to resolve the issues and to build a nation where we and our children can live in peace.”
7 January 2018: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at Interdenominational Church Service for Armed Forces Remembrance Day held at National Christian Centre
“The President has ordered the police and the armed forces to deal decisively with these killings and to ensure that the perpetrators are found and punished. The President has also in almost daily meetings, and strategy sessions with relevant security and law enforcement agencies worked to find lasting solutions.”
8 February 2018: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the National Security Summit at NAF Conference Center and Suites, Abuja
“Anyone who has seen the viciousness of the killings, and the wantonness of the damage to property, is bound to be stupefied by the horror. I was in in Dong village in Adamawa, where herdsmen had attacked the village and killed many. But the vicious killing of Fulani women and children in the same local government in Adamawa State is worthy of mention.”
“This is why the suggestion sometimes, that because President Buhari is Fulani he has ignored the killings by herdsmen is both untrue and unfair. In any event, herdsmen and farmer clashes resulting in deaths have been with us for at least two decades. And I have worked with him for three years now, and I do not know of any one issue that has given him more concern or on which he has spent more time with Security Chiefs as this particular issue.”
“Although generally the security forces, the entire infrastructure, have performed creditably given their resource constraints, the problem is that in some of the worst killings, security agents were simply not there in time. Whenever that happens as was the case in Logo, Guma, and Mambilla last year, the failure to protect the lives of the innocent is inexcusable, and we cannot rationalize or diminish that failure of our security apparatus of government in any way.”
20 February 2018: When asked what is being done about security, he answered
“The approach of the government has been to deploy mobile police forces to troubled areas and also both the army and Air Force, the Nigerian Army formations and units in Benue State for example, especially 72 Special Forces Battalion, have consistently maintained Forward Operating Bases at the flash areas covering Guma, Logo, Katsina-Ala and Agatu Local Government Areas.
The operation has the generic name Operation MESA, but it is nicknamed Operation ZENDA in Benue State. The Army had within the last few days scaled up the size of troops and equipment in Agatu, Guma, Katsina-Ala and Logo Local Government Areas of Benue State.
The Army also recently deployed troops at Awe and Tunga Local Government Areas of Nasarawa State, in order to monitor and block the gaps that were presumed to be used as staging points by armed herdsmen to attack communities in Benue State.
Additionally, troops of 93 Battalion, Takum in Taraba State, also occupy blocking positions as well as maintain constant liaison with troops in Benue State.
Furthermore, the command and control structure of the Army formations and units in Benue and contiguous states have been reorganized. Accordingly, more troops were deployed and the Commander 707 Special Forces Brigade was reassigned to Taraba State for effective command and control of troops operating in the entire Benue/Taraba general area. And next week, the Nigerian Army will flag-off Exercise AYEM AKPATUMA, to checkmate the activities of armed bandits and militias in Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa and environs.
24 April 2018: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the inauguration of Deeper Life Bible Church headquarters building in Gbagada, Lagos
“While the security agencies continue to work relentlessly to hunt down the perpetrators of these evil acts and to bring a permanent end to all of the killings going on in the name of herdsmen, Boko Haram, or in any other name, we as a body of Christ must not lose focus.”
1 May 2018: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the national May Day celebrations at the Eagle Square, Abuja
“To this end, Mr President and the Security Council have been engaging in rigorous stock taking, with a view to reengineering our security architecture to meet the challenges of the mindless killings in some parts of the country, including the threats of marauding herdsmen, cattle rustlers and bandits.”