President Muhammadu Buhari has said the late Libyan leader, Muammar Gadaffi, trained and armed the herdsmen who have been carrying out bloody attacks on several communities in Nigeria.
The Nigerian leader also said herdsmen-farmers clashes in the country started long before his administration.
He was responding to questions by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Reverend Justin Welby, on the clashes between herdsmen and farmers in different parts of Nigeria.
The Archbishop visited Buhari at the Abuja House in London on Wednesday.
According to Buhari, the gunmen escaped into Nigeria and other West African countries after Gadaffi’s demise in 2011.
“These gunmen were trained and armed by Muammar Gadaffi of Libya. When he was killed, the gunmen escaped with their arms. We encountered some of them fighting with Boko Haram,” he said.
“Herdsmen that we used to know carried only sticks and maybe a cutlass to clear the way, but these ones now carry sophisticated weapons. The problem is not religious, but sociological and economic. But we are working on solutions.”
According to a statement by his media aide, Buhari also blamed “irresponsible politics” for the crisis.
He said politics had been brought into the crisis, but assured that lasting solutions would be found.