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 and other parts of the country.
The envoy attributed the killings to struggle for land, noting that foreigners were not involved in the bloodshed in the Middle Belt region.
According to The Punch newspaper, the diplomat made the assertion while addressing journalists in commemoration of the 2018 French National Day in Abuja on Saturday.
Mr. Denys who would be rounding off his tour of duty at the end of the month, added that Nigerians deserved to enjoy effective security and better governance than the government was currently providing.
He admonished the Federal Government to punish those behind the killings.
The envoy advised the government to develop agriculture and animal husbandry to address the crisis.
In his words: “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 are involved in the killings,” he said in response to a question about the claims by the Federal Government that Libyan mercenaries were responsible for the bloodshed.
The envoy added, “The second is justice. When there is that kind of killing, there must be proper prosecution and perpetrators must be properly sentenced. If that does not happen, then, it cannot end.”
Gauer noted that foreign investors and partners would not be willing to invest in the affected areas on account of the security challenges there.
The departing diplomat however 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.