International human rights body Amnesty International on Monday, January 29, 2018 released a detailed statement on the ongoing violence by Fulani herdsmen in the country. According to the statement released by Osai Ojigho the country director of Amnesty International, she says the killer herdsmen have killed 168 Nigerians alone in the month of January.
The statement reads “The Nigerian authorities’ response to communal violence is totally inadequate, too slow and ineffective, and in some cases unlawful. Clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Adamawa, Benue, Taraba, Ondo and Kaduna have resulted in 168 deaths in January 2018 alone. Hundreds of people lost their lives last year, and the government is still not doing enough to protect communities from these violent clashes. Worse, the killers are getting away with murder. In 2017, clashes between nomadic herdsmen and local farmers resulted in at least 549 deaths and thousands displaced across Enugu, Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Cross Rivers, Adamawa, Katsina, Delta and Ekiti states,”
This statement by Amnesty International which has echoed what other speakers and opinion moulders have said on the violence from these herdsmen, has shown the country is having a serious security crisis at hand which should not be treated with a kid gloves. The number of deaths in January should tickle the conscience of the Federal government as the figure has doubled what Boko-Haram recorded in two months of 2017 alone.
The Federal government’s abject refusal to engage this crisis in a way that acknowledges the greviances of all parties involved without losing sight of the larger objective (stopping the violence) is disappointing. The fulani herdsmen have been named the fourth terrorist organizations in the world but we are still yet to handle an issue that might spiral out of control and become a greater threat than the Boko-Haram terrorist group.
The country is spending billions of naira to fight the war against the Boko-Haram sect and it won’t be in our interest to have the herdsmen as another group of national disturbance to confront. Also, the alleged killings by the military and the consistent over stretching of our military which is affecting it’s effectiveness should be looked into by the Federal Government, the Nigerian Police should be made to do its constitutional responsibilities, over stretching the Nigerian Army will limit it’s productivity.
The statement from Amnesty International is a wake up call to the federal government to bring an end to these attacks by Fulani herdsmen.