…lambasts Miyetti Allah over ‘conditions’ to stop killing farmers
…says Nigerians must reject presidential candidates with ‘killer’ agenda
Prominent civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Wednesday, described as a sign of complicity, the failure of the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari to arrest and prosecute vicious Fulani herdsmen who have killed thousands of farmers in Nigeria.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, also lambasted Fulani socio-cultural association, the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore for listing senseless conditions to end killings of impressionable and defenceless farmers in various troubled communities across the country.
The group said killer Fulani herdsmen have done enough harm to the Nigerian people and so the electorate must collectively and doggedly reject the enthronement of any of the presidential candidates who want to continue the killer agenda of the Buhari government that unwittingly tolerates and pamper armed Fulani terrorists.
The Miyetti Allah had on Monday said the designation, gazetting and development of all the 415 grazing reserves across the states of the Federation is the only first strategic step in addressing the challenges confronting Fulani herders in Nigeria.
The group also demanded the building of earth dams and solar boreholes, the building of veterinary clinics, development of dairy (milk) collection centres, among several others.
Miyetti Allha took a swipe at Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State for his anti-open grazing laws which it described as satanic. The group further dismissed the claim of farmers-herders conflicts as a major setback of instability and insecurity in Nigeria.
However, HURIWA’s Onwubiko slammed the entire leaders as well as the rank and file of the Miyetti Allah over their irresponsible grandstanding and impunity after the unprintable ordeal of farmers in the hands of mean herdsmen all over the country.
Onwubiko said, “In an ideal society where the entire policing institution and judiciary have not been compromised by cronies of the government of the day, the Miyetti Allah leaders should be cooling off in prisons for allegedly masterminding of the attacks on farming communities all over Nigeria in attempts to forcibly take over people’s lands and even some of their key National officers admitting complicity on media interviews.
“If the courts and security agencies are not compromised, criminals masquerading as herdsmen should be in jail for heinous activities including kidnapping and terrorism. But we are where we are and now Miyetti Allah is listing conditions! What audacity! What impunity!
“It is on record that the atrocious activities of land-grabbing herders have led to the death of thousands of farmers all over the country. For instance, the President-General of Agbekoya Farmers Association, Kamorudeen Okikiola said AK-47-wielding herders killed over 4,000 farmers in South-West in six years. Also, a report obtained by ThisDay showed that between 2017 and 2020, Fulani herdsmen conducted 654 attacks, killed 2,539 and kidnapped 253 people in Nigeria.
“In addition to the orgy of massacre, the Council on Foreign Relations of the United States of America said no fewer than 53,418 Nigerians lost their lives to herders and between May 2015 and October 2022 under Buhari.
“The continuous sacrilegious killings of farmers who are now endangered species should not be surprising to any Nigeria who have keenly followed the body language of President Buhari in the last seven years. For instance, in June 2021, the President gave approval to the return of the open grazing practised during the 1st Republic where herdsmen used designated grazing routes to move their cattle to several parts of the country. He also directed the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to begin the process of recovering land from persons who have converted cattle grazing routes for their personal use. Buhari restated this stand in a television interview in January 2022. This outrageously illegal statement was opposed to vehemently by state governors who legally stated that the extant Land Use Act of 1979 ceded ownership of lands to states.
“The Buhari government has thereafter refused to grant AK-47 license to state-owned security outfits in Benue and in Ondo State where herders are kidnapping like no man’s business, killing church worshippers in broad day light. Yet, Buhari regime gave t same approval to a state-owned outfit in Katsina in an apparent but condemnable epic discrimination.
“As if not enough, the Buhari regime has also constantly supports herdsmen and has continuously attacked the Benue State governor who himself escaped being killed once.
“The ‘conditions’ given by Miyetti Allah is illegal and cannot materialise. We, in HURIWA, reject all these baseless and selfish conditions because the position of Land Use Act on ownership of lands in the state is clear. Cattle-rearing is a personal business and should not be at the cost of any Nigerian.
“Apparently, these armed Fulani herdsmen unleashing devastating killings are pampered and those who have killed farmers aren’t prosecuted. This is why they are emboldened to give condition to stop killing farmers. Why the government is encouraging this kind of atmosphere that can lead to civil war is worrisome.”
November 2, 2022
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA.