The President has condemned the murder of 19 people by gunmen in Tawari community of Kogi Local Government Area in Kogi State.
President Muhammadu Buhari frowned on the incident in a statement on Friday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, hours after the incident.
He said, “There is no excuse or justification for killing innocent people by anybody or group, and for whatever motive.
“The killings and revenge killings will only aggravate the cycle of violence, creating neither safety nor security for any side.”
The gunmen were said to have invaded Tawari at about 1am and opened fire on residents before setting houses, churches, and many properties ablaze.
Among those killed were the Chief Imam of the village, Zakari Salihu, and Tawari Ward Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ibrahim Simbabi.
Also touched were the oldest clinic established by the missionaries in the colonial era, and the official vehicle of the traditional ruler of the area – Aguma of Tawari, Idris Tawari – among others.
In his reaction, President Buhari warned Nigerians against resorting to violence in a bid to resolve disputes but to do so in accordance with the laws of the land.
“People should avoid taking the law into their own hands because doing so could make a bad situation worse and undermine the government’s efforts to tackle security challenges,” he cautioned.
The President added, “I am gravely worried about frequency and temptation of using violence to settle disputes instead of following lawful and amicable means to avoid needless destruction of lives and property.”