Adopt Amotekun model to checkmate killer herdsmen, HURIWA tells South East governors •Calls for state of emergency in Kaduna over killings

Posted by News Express | 22 July 2020 | 883 times

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•South East governors

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has said that contrary to “deceptive campaigns” calling on the governors of the South East to adopt community policing, the authorities should ignore such calls but borrow the South West Amotekun model to checkmate the killings of innocent citizens by armed Fulani herdsmen.

The group also condemned “the ceaseless and unending violent attacks of the Christian-dominated Southern Kaduna State by armed Fulani herdsmen whilst the Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai speaks from both sides of his mouth and does nothing to stop these incessant killings with the latest being the killing of 21 villagers in Kagoro, in Laura local government area council by armed herdsmen who were said to be hiding on top of the Kagoro hills.”

HURIWA recalled that Laura youth had last month told the World that there were armed Fulani herdsmen camping on top of Kagoro hills but both the Kaduna State Governor and his Commissioner for Internal Security disputed this claim.

The rights group said the recent attack has validated the allegations by the Kaura youths and called for immediate declaration of a state of emergency in the state so that soldiers and armed security forces can continuously comb the forests and hills to decimate and degrade the armed Fulani herdsmen camping in those places while the citizens form vigilantes to defend their lands and their lives.

Advancing the reasons for advocating the Amotekun model over community policing, HURIWA said that over two decades after the restoration of elected civilian government in Nigeria, serious existential challenges persist at the federal, state and local levels. These include persisting low public confidence in the capability of the electoral system to produce truly elected political leaders at various levels.

Others include implementation of economic reform programmes that have neither improved public services nor produced jobs for thousands of young people graduating every year from higher institutions. Pervasive corruption, which has reduced government’s annual budgetary pronouncements and development targets to hollow rituals scuffed at by a cynical public.

“Above all, an alarming spate of armed violence and terrorism over widening space and territories and apparent inability of the security forces to restore law and order, bring the perpetrators to justice and reassure a traumatised citizenry.

“While no region or state in Nigeria is immune from the above grim picture, political and security governance in the South East has in recent times become a source of major concern to many stakeholders in the region.

“It is indeed an irony of history that a region with the most advanced traditional features of democracy, accountable and transparent governance system exemplified in its community governance system has today become a ravaging ground for armed Fulani herdsmen and other forms of terrorism.”

The rights group noted that while community policing was very effective in enabling the pre-colonial Igbo society not only in fighting crime, but also in preventing it, however, modern governance systems have generally replaced traditional systems, even when the latter were very effective.

It argued that given the current security challenges in contemporary Nigerian society, there is a need to revisit this model of community policing for the purpose of preventing and curbing crimes particularly the killings and other forms violence occasioned by armed fulani herdsmen.

It further said that responding to the recent governance and security challenges confronting the South East require concerted efforts by a multitude of stakeholders in government, business and civil society and interventions at several points intersecting political, economic and security governance.

The rights group said that the destructive activities of rogue herdsmen on farms in communities in the South Eastern states of Nigeria are becoming worrisome and frightening. With their hordes of cattle, they have been invading farmlands with reckless abandon and making a mess of the crops which the poor village farmers toiled to put in place. Sadly, in some cases, these killer herdsmen even violently attack and kill the farmers if they have the gut to question them.

According to HURIWA, more worrisome is that law enforcement agents posted to the region have continued to conduct themselves in manners that suggest that they are an occupation force preying on the people rather than protecting them.

 

 

 


Source: News Express

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