HURIWA challenges Osinbajo to provide proof of detention of 800 killer Fulani herdsmen
Posted by News Express | 3 November 2016 | 1,957 times
Few days after the Vice President Mr. Yemi Osinbajo disclosed in the United States of America that so far 800 suspected armed Fulani attackers are in detention, he has been asked to transparently provide details and identities of the detainees to douse public pessimism and apprehension.
In a letter to the Vice President dated November 1st 2016, the Pro-democracy Non-Governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) declared that the overwhelming public perception is that the current Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani has taken no military action to check the excesses of the armed Fulani herdsmen.
According to the rights group, the information about the 800 suspected armed Fulani herdsmen being detained over various attacks carried out against farming communities was vague and amounts to propaganda or hear-say.
HURIWA further asserted that unless the Nigerian government publicly publishes the identities of the detainees and also inform Nigerians on the timeline drawn up by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Attorneys-General of the affected states on the prosecution of the suspected mass murderers, public perception will remain that the Federal Government is insensitive to the plight of Nigerians on the receiving end of coordinated armed Fulani attacks.
Lamenting that even much more devastating havocs are being done by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen in Southern Kaduna State and many other places even as the Vice President gave his address to the Nigerian community in the United States of America, the rights group said anything less than rendering verifiable account of the exact number, identities and category of charges pending against them remain only in the realm of speculation and political gimmickry.
The group informed the Vice President that it has already proceeded to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands to demand global investigations of the spate of mass killings by series of armed freelance hoodlums including armed Fulani herdsmen who have operated in several places without being effectively checked by armed security forces under the direct supervision of the Presidency.
The letter endorsed by the National Coordinator of the group, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko reads in part: “We write you as patriotic Nigerians and Committed democrats working in the human rights sector.
“The specific purpose is to request your good office to furnish us with better and further information on the number, identities and exact states and status of cases of the 800 detained armed Fulani attackers whom you told the world are currently being detained all over the country.”
“Recall Sir, that you said thus: “The President has given firm instructions to the security agencies to arrest not only herdsmen who are attacking communities anywhere in the country but anyone of them or anyone at all in possession of firearms. There are about 800 of suspected violent herdsmen in the country that are currently in custody.
“This request is necessitated by the apparent vagueness of your recent disclosure on this most burning social security issue threatening the very fabrics of our nation.
“We are aware also that you further stated that the slow pace of justice delivery is responsible for the lack of prompt prosecution of these mass murderers.
“As human rights devotees, we have over the past months openly challenged the government to do the needful to stop the carnage and pogrom being undertaken by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen against farmers all over Nigeria.
“Because of the clear lack of interest to arrest, prosecute, punish and stop these incessant killings we were compelled to proceed to The Hague, Netherlands to file a process demanding international trial for these mass murderers.
“Sir, your response to our request is imperative as we proceed with our advocacy to bring to an end this regime of terror attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen.
“Sir, be informed that we relied on the various provisions of the FOI Act of 2011 with specific reference to Section 2 (2) (3) to so make this request.”