Headlines from mainstream Nigerian newspapers for Friday, February 9, are focused on the response by President Muhammadu Buhari to the controversy generated by the federal government’s proposal to establish cattle ranches, the message from Catholic bishops to the president and the call by the vice president for the establishment of state police.
The Nation reports that President Muhammadu Buhari has explained that federal government’s proposal to establish cattle colonies was not meant to colonise any part of the country.
The president made his comments when he received the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), led by Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa on Thursday, February 8.
Buhari stated that the proposal was meant to tackle the killings and frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in various parts of the country.
The president further stated that the government’s intention is to create grazing locations for cattle rearers, an idea which he said has been misconstrued as colonisation.
This Day is also focused on Buhari’s response to the controversy generated by the federal government’s cattle colonies proposal.
The publication also reports that at the meeting with the Catholic bishops, the president stressed that contrary to widespread allegations, the proposal was not meant to colonise any part of the country.
The president also debunked allegations of bias levelled against him over his appointments, but promised to take a second look at issues pertaining to the federal character principle when a compendium of all government appointments are eventually submitted to him.
The paper notes that the president made a similar promise late last year.
Still on the visit by the Catholic bishops to Aso Rock, Vanguard reports that the clerics informed President Buhari that the country appears to be under siege; and that this situation requires proactive measures.
The publication states that the bishop told the president that hunger, hopelessness and deprivation are now the order of the day in Nigeria.
The president was also informed that his goodwill was eroding among Nigerians as a result of his government’s failure to tackle the myriads of problems facing the nation.
Punch is also echoing the critical message passed to President Buhari, by the Catholic bishops.
The publication quotes the leader of the delegation, Rev Ignatius Kaigama, as saying: “There is no doubt that when you came into office, you had an enormous amount of the goodwill of Nigerians, since many saw you as a person of integrity who would be able to bring sanity into a system that was nearly crippled by endemic corruption.
“Nearly three years later, however, one has the feeling that this goodwill is being fast depleted by some glaring failures of government which we have the moral responsibility to bring to your notice, else we would be failing in our duty as spiritual fathers and leaders.”
The Guardian is however focused on the call by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, for the establishment of state police.
Osinbajo made his comments at a security summit on Thursday, February 8, and the publication reports that none of the 36 state governors were present at the event.
However, those present included: the inspector general of police, Ibrahim Idris; the chief of army staff, Lt-General Tukur Buratai; the chief of naval staff, Ibok-Ete Ekwe, among others.
Osinbajo stated in part: "We cannot realistically police a country the size of Nigeria centrally from Abuja. State police and other community policing methods are clearly the way to go.”
What should the federal government do to tackle herdsmen attacks in the country? - on NAIJ.com TV:
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