The outgoing French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Denys Gauer, has identified impunity and injustice as the factors driving the killings and bloodshed in Plateau, Benue, Kaduna States and other parts of the country.
The envoy stated that Nigerians deserved to enjoy effective security and better governance than the government was currently providing.
Addressing journalists in commemoration of the 2018 French National Day in Abuja on Saturday, the diplomat who would be rounding off his tour of duty at the end of the month, admonished the Federal Government to punish those behind the killings.
Gauer dismissed claims by the FG that foreigners were behind the killings, noting that he did not believe this to be correct.
He attributed the killings in the middle belt to struggle for land, stressing that the violence is largely economic in nature, adding that policies to develop agriculture and animal husbandry should be developed to address the crisis.
“The reason for the killings is demography, some people are fighting for land, so there must be direct policy to develop agriculture and animal husbandry. I think impunity is encouraging the killings and those responsible must be punished. I don’t believe foreigners were involved in the killings…The government must give justice to victims,” he stated.
Gauer noted that foreign investors and partners would not be willing to invest in the affected areas on account of the security challenges there.
According to the diplomat, Nigeria had recorded great progress against Boko Haram, but the sect, he said, had not been eliminated.
He explained that the security forces needed to maintain their offensive against the insurgents so that the displaced persons can return to their communities.
The envoy stated that he enjoyed Nigeria, adding that he had visited Sokoto, Kano, Enugu, Abeokuta, Osogbo, Lagos and other cities, but added that insecurity and bad roads were a challenge.