Group urges Buhari to declare armed herdsmen terrorists

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• Condemns FG’s silence on killing of policemen

A call has for the umpteenth time gone to the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to shun tribalism and Ethnic jingoism by proscribing armed Fulani herdsmen.

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) in a statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf condemned the persistent 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.

The group said only the declaration of armed Fulani herdsmen as terrorists by President Muhammadu Buhari can quicken the process of effectively disarming them and stopping further supplies of weapons to them from a number of sources which till date are yet to be identified by all the law enforcement agencies in the Country.

The Rights group carpeted President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector General of Police Alhaji Ibrahim Kpotum Idriss for their disgraceful and unfortunate silence days after the dastardly crime of the violent killings of policemen 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.”

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HURIWA reminded President Muhammadu Buhari that it had since many years back 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.

It 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.

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 thread 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 in the statement said from a study it conducted in the last two years, over 6000 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.

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