Don’t Baptise Killer Herder Nomenclature :-HURIWA to Speaker

Don’t Baptise Killer Herder Nomenclature :-HURIWA to Speaker

Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria, HURIWA, Speaker of Federal House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen on his use of alleged dubiously coined term of herders/farmers clashes since there is nothing as such but armed herders’ terrorism against farmers.

HURIWA was reacting to a public speech by the House Speaker in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, who said Herders-Farmers clashes claimed 60,000 lives in 22 years, even as they tasked the speaker on ensuring that the killer herders are prosecuted and punished for their crimes against humanity rather than the politicians to keep running media commentary on the casualty figures.

The group said, “Specifically, on Monday at a public function in which his deputy stood in for him, the speaker of parliament claimed that Sixty thousand lives have been lost to herder-farmer clashes since 2001, just as he regretted that the crisis, hitherto seen as a regional conflict, had expanded to parts of the country and borders of several West African nations.

“Speaker Abbas Tajudeen made the disclosure in his opening address at the stakeholders’ interactive session by the House Ad hoc Committee on the ‘Recurring Annual Clashes Between Farmers and Herders in Yamaltu/Deba Local Government Area of Gombe State and Neighbouring Local Government Areas, Including Other Regions of the Country with Similar Incidents’ in Abuja.

“The clashes have resulted in avoidable losses of lives and property. It is estimated that over 60,000 people have been killed since 2001. It ought not to be so. “The number of deaths, injuries and kidnapped persons constitutes an alarming situation, and poses a serious national security challenge for Nigeria’s quest to attain food security and alternative foreign earnings from the agricultural sector. This menace requires urgent action to be taken,”

While expressing shock that top politicians from especially Northern Nigeria have strenuously attempted to twist the true story of what it terms one –sided terror attacks on farmers by mostly armed Fulani herders, HURIWA also faulted the casualty figure brandished by the speaker for lacking in scientific accuracy.

They Rights group therefore, challenged the speaker to publish details of the data from which he got the figure from which he got the figure he brandished.

“We also recalled that attacks from herders killed more Nigerians in 2018, compared to the number of deaths caused by Boko Haram in the country, according to 2019 Global Terrorism Index (GTI).

“The GTI report released in 2019 ranked Nigeria, for the fifth consecutive time, since 2015, as the third country with the worst impact from terrorism, globally. Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, and India are ranked fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh respectively in the GTI report, while Yemen, Philippines, and Democratic Republic of the Congo are eighth, ninth, and 10th.

“The report said terror-related incidents in Nigeria increased by 37 per cent, from 411 in 2017 to 562 in 2018 and also deaths from terrorism in the country rose to 2,040 in 2018, a 33 per cent increase. “The increase was due to a substantial escalation of violence by ‘Fulani’ extremists, whilst Boko Haram recorded a decline in deaths from terrorism,” the report said.

“Besides, HURIWA reminds the Federal house of representatives speaker that a concern was raised in the 2018 GTI report over the killings by herders. The report had warned that terrorism was shifting from Nigeria’s North-East region to the country’s Middle-Belt. “Violence between Nigerian herders and farmers intensified in early 2018 with approximately 300,000 people fleeing their homes. The most recent escalation in violence follows increased militia attacks and implementation of new anti-grazing legislation,” the latest report said.

“HURIWA cited the same report as stating that: “In 2018, Fulani extremists were responsible for the majority of terror-related deaths in Nigeria at 1,158 fatalities. Terror-related deaths and incidents attributed to Fulani extremists increased by 261 and 308 per cent respectively from the prior year. Of 297 attacks by Fulani extremists, over 200 were armed assaults. Over 84 per cent of these armed assaults targeted civilians. However, also active and not recorded as terrorist activity are pastoralist militias who target the Fulani, increasing the likelihood of reprisals,” the report said.

The Rights group said it is regrettable that politicians like Tajudeen Abass who have been in the National throughout the period that Muhammadu Buhari was the President and gave free hand to armed herders to kill, maim and destroy farmers, their farmlands and to take over communities from farmers in such places like Southern Kaduna and Benue States, these legislators did nothing to bring the perpetrators of these dastardly criminal act of terrorism to justice.

“We in HURIWA are using this auspicious opportunity to task the Federal house of representatives to use their legislative powers to compel the executive arm of government and especially the offices of the Attorney General of the Federation and that of the Inspector General of Police to round up the suspected killer herders and prosecute them for these heinous crimes instead of disturbing the news spaces with uncoordinated noises on the number of casualties from the attacks staged by killer herders. Politicians should be concerned about bringing killer herders to justice than engage in media showmanship.”

HURIWA said the right step for the federal parliament is not to inundate Nigerians with ‘channel noise’ but to implement measures to bring former President Muhammadu Buhari to justice for his willful failures to use his executive powers as the Commander-in-chief to stop the carnage unleashed on farmers and mostly Christian Northerners by largely armed Fulani herdsmen.

They further lamented that the former President rather than arrest the killer herders, staged seemingly unending subterranean and even brazenly open plots to seize lands from natives across the 36 states to set up settlements for strange Fulani herders some of whom are suspected to have been imported from the Central African Republic and Niger by Miyetti Allah cattle owners.

HURIWA also alleged that the immediate past President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration took out billions of taxpayers money and frittered in settling Fulani herdsmen through the Miyetti Allah cattle owners body.

End.

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