President Muhammadu Buhari has again said that herdsmen in Nigeria do not carry guns but only wield sticks and occasionally machetes.
He said this on Monday in Washington D.C. during a bilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.
According to the Nigerian President, the herdsmen crisis has been an age-long challenge in his country.
“The problem of herders in Nigeria is a very long historical thing. The Nigerian herders don’t carry anything more than a stick and occasionally a matchet to cut down foliage and give it to their animals, these ones are carrying AK-47.
“So, people should not underrate what happened in Libya. 43 years of Ghaddaffi, people were recruited from the Sahel and trained to shoot and kill. With the demise of Ghaddaffi they moved to other countries and region and carried the experience with them,” he said.
President Buhari added that this is what is aggravating herdsmen crisis in Nigeria. He also appreciated the United States government for assisting in Nigeria’s fight against insurgency and for US military presence in Nigeria.
“We are grateful to the United States for agreeing to give us the aircraft that we asked for. We are even more grateful for the physical presence of the United States military officials in Nigeria. Our institutions in Nigeria, for training them and going to the Northeast to see how they are performing.
“The commitment of the United States to get rid of terrorism across the world, we have fast earned experience from that and we are grateful for it,” he said.