A former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday emphasized the need for leaders in the country to take responsibility for killings in Benue State in a bid to put an end to the unjustifiable loss of lives.
Obasanjo made the remark in response to questions from newsmen when he made a stop-over in Makurdi on his way back from Borno State to lay wreaths at the graveside of 73 slain rural indigenes of the state on New Year’s day in two local government areas of Logo and Guma.
"It is sad beyond description and that is why I have taken it upon myself, having been to Maiduguri where we had a meeting of zero hunger forum to be here to pay a condolence visit and share the sadness of Benue people with them.
"We must know why it (killings) is happening and why we must put an end to it, someone must take responsibility to put an end to it. We cannot talk of a free, secure country where we will want development to take place and investors to come to be suffering this type of senselessness," he said.
The ex-president said that he felt coming to the graveside and laying a wreath would expressed his sorrow, sympathy and empathy with the family, governor and all the people of the state and indeed all Nigerians without any exception.
He noted that If the circumstances were normal, the Benue governor would have been with his team in Maiduguri, stressing, "a Nigerian life lost is loss to all of us. And hearing that aside the 73 buried here, more than 80 others have been killed is even more shocking to me and to all Nigerians.
"There is no doubt that we haven’t got it right because whatever is behind this, normally in any civilised society, we must get to the root of it. Until then, we will be burying visions and we will be assuming what is not assumable. I do hope that there would be an end to this," he added.
Obasanjo therefore urged Governor Samuel Ortom not to give up but that he should work with men and women that have the interest of his state and Nigeria at heart so as to find permanent solution.
"We need to find out what is the problem and that is the responsibility of leaders. We must leave no stone unturned," the former president posited.