By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met behind closed doors with governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The President also, Tuesday, described as vile and satanic the killing of worshippers and two priests at a Catholic church in Ukpor-Mbalom community in Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reliably gathered that the President’s meeting with the APC governors would discuss national issues including the forthcoming national convention of the party slated for May 14 in Abuja.
Already, the leadership of the party has written the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to intimate it of plans to hold congresses and convention across the country.
President Buhari had at the last National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the party declared his intention to seek re-election in 2019.
Those attending the meeting included Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha as well as the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.
APC state governors in attendance were; Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Simon Lalung of Plateau, Jubrila Bindow of Adamawa and Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara.
Others were Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Abdulahi Ganduje of Kano, Kashim Shettima of Borno, Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger, Tanko Almakura of Nassarawa, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, Godwin Obaseki of Edo and Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa.
Reacting to the killings in Benue State, the President through a statement by Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) said: “I extend my sincere condolences to the government and people of Benue State, the Mbalom community, and especially the Bishop, priests and members of the St Ignatius’ Catholic Church, whose premises was the unfortunate venue of the heinous killings by gunmen.
“This latest assault on innocent persons is particularly despicable. Violating a place of worship, killing priests and worshippers is not only vile, evil and satanic, it is clearly calculated to stoke up religious conflict and plunge our communities into endless bloodletting,” the President said.
Stressing that the country will not bow to the machinations of evildoers, President Buhari vowed that the assailants would be hunted down and made to pay for the sacrilege committed.