Plateau attacks: Arrest criminals, don’t sign peace pact with Fulani terrorists, HURIWA warns Lalong

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria(HURIWA), on Thursday, warned Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, not to sign peace pact with Fulani terrorists responsible for the perennial attacks on the state.

HURIWA said gathering persons who have lived together as neighbours to sign a peace pact is not the issue here but the problem is that the Plateau State Government is abdication her law enforcement authority and duty and has deviated into the arena of political comedy by staging a pea e accord instead of going after Fulani terrorists killing the natives. Governor Lalong must not be allowed to get away with his plot to grant soft landing of any kind to mass killers but must be persuaded and compelled by law to enforce the law and arrest, prosecute and deal with terrorists and killers irrespective of their ethnic or religious affiliations since the law is not a respect of persons.

HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said instead, the government through security agencies must arrest, prosecute and punish marauders who are killing and maiming aboriginal Plateau residents. Also the Rights group said any locals accused of killing Fulanis as reprisals should be similarly arrested, prosecuted and sanctioned in accordance with the rule of law. Plateau State Governor should not play the role of a certain father Christmas who undermines constitutionalism and the fundamentals of law and order.

Recall that the Lalong government recently initiated a peace pact between the Irigwe and Fulani ethnic groups in the Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau. The move was part of efforts to end the spate of ethno-religious crisis and violent attacks and killings in the area.

But HURIWA kicked against the development as unconstitutional and illegal, saying similar move in Kaduna State backfired as the rampaging Fulani terrorists have no respect for agreements and must be crushed by state powers.

HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The comical scenario where the government is facilitating peace pact with Fulani terrorists is unconstitutional and illegal. What peace pact is to be made with the aggressor when the aggressor should be crushed with state and military might? Anything aside from this is like pampering marauders and killers.”

“Kaduna State is a core example of this inefficient peace pact. Recall that in December 2016, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, had an agreement with killer Fulani people and went as far as paying them to stop killing the people of Southern Kaduna.”

HURIWA recalled that in December 2016, el-Rufai said, “We took certain steps. We got a group of people that were going round trying to trace some of these (Fulani) people in Cameroon, Niger republic and so on to tell them that there is a new governor who is Fulani like them and has no problem paying compensations for lives lost and he is begging them to stop killing.

“In most of the communities, once that appeal was made to them, they said they have forgiven. There are one or two that asked for monetary compensation. They said they have forgiven the death of human beings, but want compensation for cattle. We said no problem, and we paid some. As recently as two weeks ago, the team went to Niger republic to attend one Fulani gathering that they hold every year with a message from me.”

Continuing, HURIWA said, “However, the carnage that has happened in Southern Kaduna and the entire state in the last few years is unimaginable and despicable too. According to the Southern Kaduna People’s Union, in the last six years, 148 communities were attacked in Southern Kaduna, while 200,000 natives were displaced with hundred slain by Fulani terrorists. The Kaduna State government itself said 1192 people were killed by terrorists in 2021 and over 500 killed already in 2022 whilst thousands have been kidnapped.

“Southern Kaduna has so far become a graveyard true to what el-Rufai tweeted on July 15, 2012 saying, ‘We will write this for all to read. Anyone, soldier or not that kills the Fulani takes a loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes’.

“The Plateau State governor must apprehend Fulani terrorists, prosecute and punish them and not go into peace accord. Making peace amongst ethnic groups is okay but this comical peace negotiations in which these two ethnicities agree to ceasefire is unconstitutional because the law says killers must face the full weight of the law.”

Emmanuel Onwubiko
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
July 14, 2022

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