Prominent civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Sunday, backed the call by a former Chief of Army Staff, Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, that Nigerians acquire arms to defend themselves against Fulani terrorists overrunning the country.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, also slammed the Federal Government for denying state-owned security outfits like Amotekun, and Benue Guards licence to bear AK-47 rifles against the aggressors who masquerade as herdsmen and kidnappers but launch vicious onslaughts on Nigerians, killing thousands in the last seven years.
The group also described as alarming and unpardonable that no fewer than 53,418 Nigerians lost their lives to non-state actors between May 29, 2015 and October 15, 2022 since President Muhammadu Buhari came into office as President.
According to the Nigerian Security Tracker, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations of the United States of America, the deaths occurred mostly from farmers/herders’ conflict, clashes by religious groups, and attacks by terrorists and bandits.
“Yet, the Buhari regime has roasted some state governors who instructed their citizens to bear arms to defend themselves. The Federal Government also has perpetually denied state-owned security outfits like the Amotekun Corps, Ebubeagu and Benue Guards licence to bear assault rifles like AK-47 to launch offensive against their aggressors. The Federal Government is no doubt complicit with its defenceless insistence. Benue state is a very serious case whereby the entire state is under the siege of armed Fulani terrorists but despite all effort by the Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom to get the President to approve AK 47 for the vigilantes in Benue, the President failed to do so but when the same armed Fulani terrorists invaded Benue at the Weekend and killed over two dizens of farmers including children, it was then that President said he condemned the killings and this same President refused to give the People the weapons to defend their lives but is shedding crocodile tears after much damage and destruction to lives have been done. This is hypocrisy taken to a comical dimension,” HURIWA’s Onwubiko said.
“The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, and other members of this government should be ashamed at the avoidable bloodshed and carnage that Fulani terrorists are wreaking in Nigeria. Both government officials have no moral right to tell state governors like Samuel Ortom of Benue and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo that no state security outfit would be allowed to bear arms.
“In fact, Governor Ortom recently cried out that the Benue State Governor had applied for licence for Benue Guards to bear AK-47 rifles but the Federal Government refused to act on the request even after many months.
“On the contrary, the Federal Government secretly approved AK-47 weapons for the Katsina State Security Outfit operational in the state where the President hails from. If this is not nepotism at the highest peak then what is it? Is the South more secured than the North? Or is the North more endangered than the South? Fulani terrorists are overrunning the whole of Nigeria and no state should be given preference above the other, considering that we are yet to recover from the Owo massacre in Ondo where scores of innocent worshippers were killed in a church service,” Onwubiko noted.
Onwubiko added, “The hypocrisy of President Muhammadu Buhari in the ongoing massacre of Nigerians by armed Fulani terrorists including foreign bandits is now obvious for all eyes to see. The refusal to arm vigilantes legally set up by State Houses of Assembly makes the President complicit.
“TY Danjuma nailed it! The military and the government have failed in their constitutional mandate to protect Nigerians. Rather, their actions justify alleged collusion with the killers. Nigerians must defend themselves and take their lands from forceful land grabbers. We need courage to face our enemies and drive them out of the country otherwise Nigeria is finished.”
October 23, 2022
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA.