President Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday, cautioned Christians and Muslims against resorting to violence in expressing their grievances.
Buhari issued the caution while expressing “great shock and deep concern” over the eruption of violence in Gombe State.
The crisis erupted following a tussle over the selection of Mai Tangale (Billiri chieftaincy title) in the state.
Reacting to the development, Buhari called for maximum restraint to avoid escalation.
In a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, the president said: “I’m seriously disturbed by the outbreak of violence in Gombe State and call on the parties involved to exercise maximum restraint to avoid escalation.
“The easy resort to violence is uncalled for because there are enough avenues to resolve differences amicably without threatening law and order.
“In a circle of violence, there are no winners, except losers,” advising Muslims and Christians to “avoid the temptation of resorting to violence in order to express their grievances.”
Appealing to the feuding parties, Buhari said: “Nigerians have shed enough blood over issues that could have been peacefully resolved. I appeal to the two parties to sheathe their swords for the sake of peaceful coexistence. Gombe has enjoyed relative religious harmony for decades and you shouldn’t allow hoodlums destroy this positive record.”