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Menace of herdsmen: HURIWA passes vote of no confidence on Buhari •Wants Miyetti Allah declared terrorist group

By News Express on 09/04/2018

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Frontline pro-democracy and non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has said  that the deliberate failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to directly take charge and provide effective leadership that could have tackled the relentless mass killings and coordinated targeted killings of farmers across the country by armed Fulani herdsmen is a massive constitutional violations which if not repressed and combated effectively and decisively could undermine constitutional democracy.

HURIWA criticised the President for failing to declare Miyetti Allah Cattle Owners Association as a terrorists group even when several officials of this group have made media statements that provided immediate motivations for major armed Fulani attacks in Agatu and most parts of Benue State; Southern Kaduna state; Plateau State, Taraba and part of Adamawa State. The rights group accused the government of pampering armed Fulani herdsmen responsible for some of the most heinous crimes against humanity.

It spoke against the backdrop of continuous violent attacks of farmers in Benue, Taraba and Southern Kaduna states by armed Fulani herdsmen who enjoy tacit backing of the notorious Miyetti Allah Cattle Owners Association which up until now has not been declared a terrorists organisation by the President Buhari’s administration which has rather chosen the illegal path of setting up committees upon committees to dialogue with alleged perpetrators and supporters of the treacherous acts of mass killings.

“We condemn in very clear terms, the decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to treat alleged perpetrators of mass violence and gruesome bloodshed with kid’s gloves whereas this same government never hesitated to direct the Chief of Army Staff to roll out the military tanks and weapons to go after largely unarmed and totally peaceful civilian members of the Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) whose only crime is their peaceful campaign for self0determination. The brutal crackdown ordered against unarmed IPOB when viewed side by side with the soft approach to the grave threats to national security posed by armed Fulani herdsmen reveals that the current administration is backing the armed Fulani herdsmen.  This Federal Government has demonstrated naked bias and a dangerous pampering of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Owners Association which is one group that have played significant roles in promoting the various dastardly criminal acts of genocide carried out by armed Fulani herdsmen in the middle belt of Nigeria and many other States in the South of Nigeria.

“We are therefore passing a vote of no confidence on the current federal government and will like to use the opportunity offered by this press statement to demand that the National Assembly and the Assemblies of the States of the Federation to make laws bringing into being state armed protection and vigilantes that would be trained, armed and motivated sufficiently to stand ready to contain the widening and dangerously expanding attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen who are enjoying the backing of top federal cabinet members of the administration of President Buhari.”

HURIWA also specifically condemned the incessant blood cuddling violence visited on the people of Bali Local Government, Taraba State who are presently in serious mourning moods following herdsmen’s attacks that resulted in the killing of a family of four. It restated her resolve to keep sending documented evidences of mass killings to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands so the key government officials being identified as supporting the ongoing mass killings can be arrested and prosecuted for these crimes against humanity. “HURIWA believes that definitely some key officials of the current administration will soon be dragged physically before the global crimes court to face justice that can’t be compromised.”

It recalled that the incident, which occurred reportedly on Saturday in Kokotye, an outskirts of Bornon Kuku of the council, was carried out in spite of military presence.

HURIWA said the blame for the continuous attacks by the armed Fulani herdsmen and the lack of any professional commitments on the parts of all the security forces to confront and bring the incessant violence by armed Fulani herdsmen to an end should be on the desk of President Muhammadu Buhari who despite Constitutional provisions on the Federal character principles chose to continue with his lopsided and over domination of officials from the Hausa/Fulani and Islamic ethno religious configurations to head all the internal security agencies and the most strategic military and policing positions.

It also accused the government of failing to dismiss the minister of Defence Alhaji Manir Dan Ali, a retired Major General from Zamfara State who made several statements that apparently justified the incessant attacks of farming communities by armed Fulani herdsmen when he stated that the grazing routes that were blocked by some states necessitated the attacks.

HURIWA which backed the call by the erstwhile Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma for self defence stated that constitutionally, the State Houses of Assemblies and the State governors can jointly work together to create armed vigilantes who would protect the peoples of their states from violent attacks and genocide.

“HURIWA is disappointed that the Presidency took exceptions to the commonsensical admonitions by Lt. General TY Danjuma who as a tested and trusted security chief stated the brutal honest affirmation that the current armed violence amounts to genocide by armed Fulani herdsmen and that the military has not shown neutrality. We expected a more robust response by the government to first and foremost investigate these allegations and then put measures in place to fish out the bad eggs amongst the military hierarchy that are conspiring with the armed hoodlums. We know it as a self evident allegation that many communities under coordinated attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen have made allegations of collusion and conspiracy between the attackers and the military and these persons making these wide ranging allegations have stated time and time again that they sighted military helicopters dropping weapons in the forests to the Fulani herdsmen just before any of those major attacks in Taraba, Southern Kaduna and parts of Delta states but the Federal Government under President  Buhari has looked the other way and refused to investigate these extensively damaging allegations that if confirmed amounts to grave threats to Nigeria’s national security.”

Source News Express

Posted 09/04/2018 2:10:29 PM


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