Prominent civil rights group and Non Governmental Organisation, the Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) has advised President Buhari to stop handling attacks by rampaging Fulani herdsmen as a family affair which should rather be handled as a national security challenge.
HURIWA in a statement jointly endorsed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf said, “the current government is pampering mass murderers by setting up committees at the Federal Executive Council to resolve what it calls farmers/Herders clashes even when what is at stake are cases of well organised and clinically executed mass killings by armed Fulani herdsmen similar to pogroms and genocides which selectively targets farming communities in the areas of the country dominated by indigenous Christian citizens of Nigeria.”
HURIWA believes there are enough extant criminal laws on ground that could tackle such criminal activities by the Fulani herdsmen instead of the Osinbajo fact-finding panel. HURIWA’s scathing statement brings to the fore the lackadaisical way the federal government is handling the incessant attacks by Fulani herdsmen across the country.
It took ages before the presidency spoke on the attacks. The reaction which came late was very tepid when compared with other press releases issued on security challenges in the country. While the Federal government through the Nigerian Army was set up military interventions to confront Militants in the South-South, IPOB members in the South East, and Badoo attacks in the South West, the government was silent on the carnage being perpetrated by the Fulani Herdsmen.
The reaction of the President to the recent attack that left 73 people dead in Benue was appaling, as he received seven governors who later endorsed him for re-election few days after the massacre. Buhari was conspicuously absent at the burial service for the deceased neither did he send a representative. The statement that emerged from his meeting with elders from Benue days after where he urged the state to “accommodate their countrymen” was an indirect way of passing the blame on Benue citizens and downplaying the attacks.
Buhari needs to stop treating these series of attacks as a family matter and act accordingly.