The Presidency has described as ‘disrespectful and unfair’ to refer to President Muhammadu Buhari as a murderer over the killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Benue State and other parts of the country.
Addressing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said such name calling was unfortunate as the President, had done his best to protect lives and property in accordance with the constitution, Punch writes.
“Those beating the gongs of war and fanning the embers of discord must remember what prevailed in Rwanda before the genocide of the early 90s, during which hundreds of thousands of lives were lost as a result of consistent hate speech spewing from that country’s media,” he said.
“We must learn to express our grievances and criticisms without resorting to gutter language or to name calling, and the press has a responsibility to maintain that, even if it means calling their columnists to order.
“Calling him (Buhari) a murderer is not only grossly disrespectful but unfair, especially when the President has written a letter to the Senate detailing his efforts to quell the crisis in Benue State.
“The President had also dispatched the Minister of Interior and the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of operations for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation in the aftermath of the unfortunate incident, and receiving a direct briefing from the IG the following day.”
Mallam Shehu also raised concerns over some media reports on the recent killings, describing them as unfortunate.
The spokesman cited a recent column published in a national newspaper wildly alleging bias on the part of President Buhari and Minister of Defence Mansur Dan-Ali, before appealing to members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm to show more decorum and professionalism in the reportage of sensitive issues in the country.