President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned a rise in ritual killings and deadly attacks against on-duty policemen and ethnic minorities, with the latest incidents reported in Enugu, Imo, Abia, Zamfara, and the Ogun States.
The president, in a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu, on Thursday in Abuja, said incidents of ritual killings, hate crimes and killing of law enforcement officers are aberrations.
While expressing the sympathy of the nation to families of the victims, Mr Buhari urged law enforcement agencies, state governments, local authorities, community and religious leaders to take all lawful actions to prevent further incidents of this nature.
He also charged the security agencies to put in place measures against the normalisation of these primitive acts, hate crimes and acts of terror.
“I condemn these dastardly acts of violence and pray for the souls of the departed,” he said.
He added that the courts of the land must apply “the strictest of punishment under our laws to the perpetrators of these horrific crimes.”
Mr Buhari said that “killings in the name of rituals, political agitation and tribal hatred are not in keeping with the tenets of our religions and of the civilised and enlightened cultures we are all claiming to be.
“No person has the right to take the law in his or her own hands.”
The president further re-emphasised the need for all Nigerians to be their brother’s keeper and should see an attack, “be it verbal or physical on anyone, as an attack on the very essence that keeps us as a nation.’’
Meanwhile, Mr Buhari has commended the government of Abia for the actions it has so far taken on the incident a few days ago against traders at the New Cattle Market, in Ukwa Local Government Area of the state and appealed for calm.
He also expressed his sympathies to the families of those killed and suffered loss of property following the attacks.