Says non declaration of Miyetti Allah and armed Fulani killer militia as terrorists is unjust:
The Federal Government of Muhammadu Buhari is said to be considering all options against Yoruba Nation separatist group including the proscription of the movement led by Prof Banji Akintoye and Sunday Adeyemo also known as Sunday Igboho, but the Prominent pro-democracy and Not-for-profit body- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) said that would amount to killing the housefly with a sledge hammer.
According to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Federal Government would explore all options within the context of the law to ensure a peaceful and united Nigeria so says the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations to the minister of justice Umar Gwandu.
The HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has therefore cautioned against any move to proscribe the Yoruba Nation group as a terrorist group even when such groups like Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association that backs violent attacks of armed Fulani herdsmen of farming communities all across Nigeria; the armed Fulani militia that are active in the North West of Nigeria with such terror activities as armed hijacking/kidnapping of school children; invasion of Southern Kaduna Christian communities and destructions of Churches, have all not been classified as terrorist groups by President Muhammadu Buhari most likely because these ‘favoured’ groups are mostly made up of kinsmen of President Muhammadu Buhari and heads of all internal security institutions under the administration of President Buhari.
HURIWA stressed that on June 26, 2018, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, had described the attacks on some communities in Plateau State as an act of retaliation over the killing of 300 cows belonging to its members.
HURIWA recalled that suspected armed Fulani herdsmen had few days to June 26th 2018 attacked Riyom, Barakin Ladi and Jos South local government areas of the state, killing over 100 persons, though the Police confirmed 86.
HURIWA which emphasized that Miyetti Allah has proven itself to be a terrorist group had then through the Chairman of the North Central zone of MACBAN, Danladi Ciroma, who signed the statement, said herdsmen in the state had lost about 300 cows in the weeks leading to the attack.He accused the communities of hiding cattle rustlers among them as well as frustrating peace efforts of the state government.
He said: “These attacks are retaliatory. As much as I don’t support the killing of human beings, the truth must be told that those who carried out the attacks must be on revenge mission.
“There have been recent reports of cow rustling and destruction of farms between Berom farmers and Fulani herdsmen. The people carrying out these criminal activities are well known to the communities but the communities are hiding them.
“Fulani herdsmen have lost about 300 cows in the last few weeks – 94 cows were rustled by armed Berom youths in Fan village, another 36 cows were killed by Berom youths. In addition to that, 174 cattle were rustled and the criminals disappeared with them to Mangu.
“Since these cows were not found, no one should expect peace in the areas. Even soldiers that went after the criminals to recover the rustled cows were shot by the armed rustlers and eventually escaped with all the cows.
HURIWA recalled that on 6th of January 2018 the fulani herdsmen in Benue State, who were accused of killing about 17 people in the state on New Year day, have explained why they attacked their host villagers.
The President of the Benue State branch of Myetii Allah Breeders Association, Garus Gololo told a correspondent of BBC News( Pidgin) that problem started when some people tried to rustle their cows, while they were emigrating from the state to some neighbouring states.
Gololo said, “While we were trying to relocate to Taraba State, through Nassarawa State to the border town of Nengere, some rustlers came and stole about 1000 cows from us and we have to fight back.”
The communities affected by the bloodletting include Gaambe-Tiv, Ayilamo, Turan. Umenger, Tse-Akor and Tomaater, near Tse-Aabi in Logo and Guma local Government areas.
Gololo claimed the attacks by the herdsmen, were in self-defense against cattle rustlers, who stole into their camp in the night to steal their cows.
HURIWA further recalled that on January 12, 2018 foreign media reports said that Since the start of the year, Nigerians have been served bloody reminders that Boko Haram is no longer the country’s biggest internal security threat. States in Nigeria’s middle belt the foreign newspapers said have been rocked by attacks from suspected Fulani herdsmen in a new wave of violence which primarily stems from disputes over grazing areas for cattle. Attacks in villages in Benue state since the start of January have left 73 people dead. With communities razed and buildings destroyed, the state emergency agency says 40,000 people have been displaced by the attacks. In a somber event, the 73 victims of the killings were laid to rest in a mass burial sponsored by the state government yesterday (Jan. 11). Human rights group Amnesty International says the violence is “reaching a boiling point of total anarchy.“
The Rights group said too that on JANUARY 23, 2021 when Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo, ordered herders to vacate the forest reserves over rising insecurity in the state, the Miyetti Allah group said they will not vacate the forests. Governor Akeredolu had said “bad elements” have turned the forest reserves into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating ransom and carrying out other criminal activities.
Miyetti Allah’s chieftain Bodejo had said thus: “No herdsman will obey the governor. The herdsmen will not step an inch out of Ondo forests; they are going nowhere. We won’t obey the governor; it is only the constitution of Nigeria that we obey. All the lands in this country belong to the Fulani…”
The Rights group said in a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, that from the above historical trajectory, it is clear that Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association ought to have been declared a terrorist group by President Muhammadu Buhari but the government being so sectional decided otherwise just as the Rights group carpeted the Federal government for failing to declare as terrorists the armed Fulani militia in the forests of Zamfara who shot down a military jet belonging to the Nigeria Air force. The Rights group therefore wonders why the Attorney General of the Federation and minister of justice is after Indigenous People of Biafra and the Yoruba Nation group but has failed to take similar steps against his kinsmen who are armed and dangerous.