Posted by News Express | 6 March 2018 | 1,271 times
The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), South East Zone, has cried out over what it described as “unwarranted killings, burning of properties and injuring of Nigerian citizens chiefly perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen in different parts of the country.” The grouppoured out its heart in an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari. The open letter was also circulated to different world bodies like the United Nations, African Union, President of the United States of America and British Prime Minister.
The open letter in 20 pages contains different ugly reports of violence and killings in different parts of the country. It reads in part:
“We observed that killings under the present administration have risen to apogee with different dimensions. Killings by state actors/security agents, killings by Boko Haram and killings by Fulani herdsmen/bandits.
“This is unacceptable and calls for a national emergency.
“We lend our support to the recent press release by the Amnesty International where the organization said clashes between farmers and herdsmen have claimed at least 168 lives in 2018 alone.
“From the independent findings of the CLO South East Zone, no fewer than 250 people have been killed in Nigeria between December 27, 2017 and February 1st 2018. In Nigeria today, helpless citizens are murdered at an average of 50 per week through the above mentioned three dimensions.
“Internally Displaced People’s, IDP camps have become a permanent feature in different parts of the country even when the country cannot be described as war torn nation.
Even in the midst of the discomforting situations in the various IDP camps, there have been reports of deaths, starvation, diversion of relief materials and other anomalies coming out from the camps.
“In Benue state alone, there have been over 50 incidents of attack by herdsmen in different parts of the state between 2013 and 2018 leading to unimaginable proportion of deaths, injuries and devastating damages of properties.
“We also observed with pain that Christians in different parts of the country most especially the Middle belt are now endangered species becoming targets of killings and destruction with churches also suffering massive destructions.
“Like it happened in Turkey and Egypt, Muslim fanatics are carrying out a secret plot to decimate Christianity and enthrone Islam as Nigeria’s official religion.
“We also warned the Governors of the South East states to be on the alert because to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Burning of farms have started in parts of the South East while there are also veiled attacks by the Fulani herdsmen though under reported.
“We also advised the South East Governors to without delay sponsor bills in their various legislative houses banning open grazing in the South East too.
“On no account also should they cede any part of the South East to be used as cattle colonies. The modern acceptable method of rearing cows anywhere is through ranches and that is the way to go.
“We also made the following recommendations to Mr President on the way out of the killing spree occasioned by herdsmen in Nigeria.
“WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE/ RECOMMENDATIONS
“A Report By The 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative And The Stefanus Foundation, Based In The United States And Nigeria Respectively in 2016 revealed that The Boko Haram Terrorist Group In The Northeast, Ranks Highest On The List Of The Most Deadly Terrorist Groups In The World.
“They are followed closely by the “Fulani Militants” who are placed fourth, behind ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
“ “Global Terrorism index shows that Boko Haram is the world’s most lethal terrorist group, followed by ISIS, while Al-Qaeda ranks third and the Fulani militants mostly in the middle belt rank 4th,” said Mark Lipdo, Executive Director of the Stefanus Foundation.
“In the 2017 Global Terrorism Index, GTI, released, Nigeria for the third year running remained the third most terrorised nation in the world.
“The GTI, which is in its fifth edition, is produced annually by the Institute for Economics & Peace, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank with offices in Sydney, New York and Mexico City.
“In the report, Nigeria in maintaining its number 3 positions recorded 1832 deaths and 466 incidents of terror. Iraq ranked number 1 with 9765 deaths and 965 incidents while Afghanistan maintained the 2nd position with 4574 deaths and 1342 incidents. Syria comes behind Nigeria in 4th position with 2102 deaths and 366 incidents while Pakistan maintained the 5th position with 956 deaths and 736 incidents.
“Though there are feelers that more incidents of death were recorded in Nigeria more than the quoted figure, for the country as the only African country to feature prominently among the top 5 most terror ravaged countries is a serious indictment.
“The Miyetti Allah Cattle breeders/Fulani herdsmen to occupy a vantage position as the 4th most deadly terror group in the world while their actions are treated with levity by the federal government smacks of unbridled partiality.
“If the federal government was quick to brand the Indigenous People of Biafra as terrorists and has been very mean and determined to crush their members while the group doesn’t bear arms or engage in killings of any sort, treating the activities of Fulani herdsmen with “accommodate your neighbours” approach simply means the replication of the famous satirical George Orwellian masterpiece, Animal Farm which gave the word the famous quote “All Animals are equal but some are more equal than others”
“Mr President, we call on you sir to immediately declare any arms bearing Fulani herdsmen as terrorists and order the security agents to treat them so.
“Your body language seems that you are very much sympathetic to their cause and that is why their leaders and culprits who have been wrecking havoc in different parts of the country are still moving freely.
“It is time to not only talk tough but act tough against these Fulani herdsmen. They should be disarmed immediately while those dissidents among them are fished out without delay to face the full wrath of the law.
“No state in Nigeria or Governor should be coerced into releasing lands for the proposed cattle colonies. It is only in an animal republic that cows will be given better treatment than human beings.
“You swore to protect and defend the security and welfare of all Nigerians as enshrined in Section 14 subsection 2 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, therefore find a solution and full stop for the incessant bloodshed in Nigeria.
“The lopsided structure of the security chiefs under your administration where all the present security chiefs speak one native language and come from same particular tribe in Nigeria is a serious aberration and speaks negatively to the security challenge confronting the nation.
“The ban on open grazing should not be a state affair but should be a national policy. This climate of impunity for the Fulani herdsmen should stop forthwith. Nigeria is our only country and belongs to all of us. Christians should feel safe and protected across every part of the country since the country has never adopted a particular religion as its state religion.
“As we enter the 2nd month of the year 2018 which is a prelude to the 2019 elections, we are hopeful that things will change for the better that will really put a stop to all these killings and life can be made better and meaningful for the citizens by government being responsive and sensitive to certain issues, policy decisions and actions that are pro masses and people oriented.”
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