LAGOS, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday said it was unfair and unkind to insinuate that he was condoning the spate of killings by suspected herdsmen.
In a statement, the Nigerian leader said he was prepared to permit every possible step that can lead to the stoppage of the killings.
Buhari said his government is determined to find short- and long-term solutions to frequent conflicts between farmers and herdsmen across the country.
Killings by herdsmen have been on the rise since New Year in Nigeria's Benue state, where relations between herdsmen and farmers remained tense, while other states including Kaduna, Kwara and Rivers have also recorded such killings.
Thursday has been declared a work-free day in Benue to enable workers to attend the funeral of the victims, according to a statement by the government.
Buhari on Tuesday redeployed the national police chief to the north-central state.
Benue had brought into effect an anti-open grazing law on Nov. 1, 2017, which ignited protests from local herdsmen.
Hundreds of people have been killed in various attacks by herdsmen in Nigeria's central states of Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau, in the past one year.
On May 24, 2017, at least 30 people were killed in an attack by suspected herdsmen who invaded a village in Benue.
The village head was among those killed in the attack which had mostly women, children and the aged as victims.
On Nov. 26, 2017, over 500 people were missing following a suspected herdsmen attack on a Tiv community in the state.