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, Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, 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.
“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.
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