Posted by News Express | 4 December 2017 | 1,214 times
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare armed Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria as terrorists to prove that he has no ethnic bias against any section of the country.
HURIWA in a statement jointly signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, made the call against the backdrop of the violent attacks by armed Fulani in a suspected reprisal over the despicable killings of some Fulani residence of Numan Local Council by suspected armed hoodlums.
It advised the President to “shun tribalism and ethnic jingoism by proscribing armed Fulani herdsmen and the association that backs it as terrorists and therefore take military and administrative measures to fully disarm these herdsmen and arrest and prosecute the armed herdsmen responsible for the spate of killings of villagers all across the country.
The association said from a study it conducted in the last two years, over 6, 000 innocent lives have been wasted by armed Fulani herdsmen in coordinated violence across many states in Nigeria even as it lamented the Federal Government's deliberate failure to stop these killings and bring the killers to justice.
The group said it was repeating the advocacy “amidst reports of the gruesome killings of no fewer than seven policemen on Thursday night in Dowaya Village, Numan Local Council of Adamawa State while trying to repel an attack by suspected armed herdsmen. Continuous tolerance of serial attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen under a Fulani, Katsina State-born President Buhari is creating the impression of a Presidency headed and directed by bigots and Ethnic jingoists.”
The rights group carpeted President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Kpotum Idris “for their disgraceful and unfortunate silence days after the dastardly crime of the violent killings of policemen by armed Fulani herdsmen.”
It condemned the refusal of government at the center to adopt legal measures and indeed activate effective deterrent mechanisms available within the frameworks of the Nigerian laws such as banning the bearing of weapons by Fulani herdsmen and categorically pronouncing them as Terrorists most especially the outspoken Miyetti Allah Cattle forum which constantly backs the violent activities undertaken by armed Fulani herdsmen.
“We strongly condemn any such revenge killings targeting innocent Fulani citizens of Nigeria and we urge the relevant law enforcement agencies to do the needful by preventing such dastardly crime from ever happening and apprehending the persons responsible for both attacks which targeted Fulani community and the Mobile Policemen.”
HURIWA reminded President Muhammadu Buhari that it had for many years, consistently warned against treating with kid gloves, the violent attacks of farmers by armed Fulani herdsmen just as it also reminded the President that a year ago it warned that the failure to declare armed Fulani herdsmen as terrorists and therefore effectively combat the menace would result in civil wars and wondered why the President has remained soft on the issue of attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen.
HURIWA wondered why President Muhammadu Buhari was in a hurry to pronounce the non-violent Indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB) as a terror organisation just for campaigning for self determination of South East of Nigeria but the same President looks the other way and maintained undignified and worrying conspiratorial silence over numerous cases of armed invasions of communities by armed Fulani herdsmen in Enugu, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Edo and Delta State.
HURIWA affirmed that the case of the recent brutal attack of Police formation in Numan Local Government Area of Adamawa is such a significantly disturbing phenomenon that even the military establishment in confirming the killings by armed Fulani herdsmen through the Brigade Commander of 23 Amoured Brigade Brigadier-Genaral Bello Muhammadu, accepted that four policemen were killed just as independent sources stated that indeed 7 policemen were massacred.
HURIWA recalled that the Brigade Commander pointed out that the incident took place when the policemen were trying to repel an attack by suspected Fulani armed herdsmen who overpowered them and killed four and added that the corpses of the four policemen were evacuated from the area after the soldiers launched rocket propelled grenade and dispersed the attackers.
HURIWA citing media sources stated that Numan, the headquarters of Numan Local Government has been desserts for the fear of reprisal attack in the council headquarters just as it cautioned prominent religious leaders such as the Sultan of Sokoto to tread carefully and avoid making insensitive statements and unleashing emotional outbursts than can stoke the embers of revenge attacks.
The rights group condemned the inability of the Nigeria’s Customs, Immigration Service and the armed security forces for failing to prevent the proliferation of small arms and sophisticated weapons amongst Fulani herdsmen parading around all over the different farming communities.
HURIWA also called for the establishment of joint military task force to wage unrelenting battles against armed Fulani herdsmen and other multiple freelance armed hoodlums who are unleashing coordinated violence on such unimaginable scales that have made Nigeria look like a war zone.
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