18 October 2017

Nigeria: Group Urges Buhari to Declare Armed Herdsmen As Terrorists

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare armed herdsmen as terrorists.A statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko in Abuja, yesterday also dismissed Buhari's poor response to the continuous genocide of the herdsmen.

The coordinator said it was hypocritical that the president has failed to take appropriate steps by legally classifying them as terrorists and deploying military forces to crush them.According to HURIWA said the Federal Government's silence over the issue could be misinterpreted, since Buhari is a Fulani by tribe.

The group condemned the killings in Bassa, Plateau State, where survivors alleged that soldiers abandoned them in a primary school compound where the herdsmen attacked them.According to Onwubiko, some farmers in Benue State disclosed to the Presidential Probe Panel on Human Rights that soldiers aided the herdsmen to attack them.

"We condemn in very strong terms, the Buhari's administration's persistent denial of the reality of the armed Fulani terrorist operations across the country.The government has so far failed to take any concrete and verifiable legal action to put an end to the bloody attacks by these armed Fulani herdsmen," he said.

The rights body also condemned the United Nations Human Rights Council for rewarding the government with an undeserved membership.According to Onwubiko, the current administration would go down in history as the most brutal civilian regime, which has grossly breached the human rights of its citizens.

He said: "Why should the United Nations allow Nigeria to win a re-election into an alleged discredited UN human rights council on the very day that armed Fulani herdsmen continued their murderous genocide of farmers in some parts of Plateau, in the north-central Nigeria dominated by Christians?

"The current National Assembly has also unfortunately failed to use its constitutional oversight powers to compel the armed forces and the president to classify these armed herdsmen as terrorists."

Meanwhile, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has vowed that he would next month, implement the anti-grazing law passed in the state.He told State House correspondents after a meeting with Buhari that the anti-grazing law would protect both the farmer and the herdsmen."I am calling for the arrest of the leadership of Miyetti Allah and to be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent. We have for long time, celebrated impunity in this country and we cannot continue like that," he said.

Ortom stressed that herdsmen who want to remain in the state must ranch their cattle and warned the body against its threat to overrun the state. The governor also announced his endorsement of Buhari for a second term in office."Now we see him bouncing every day to the glory of God. We appreciate this and we look forward that God would help him to take us through 2015 to 2019 and 2019 to 2023," he said.


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