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The bodies of 73 victims of Fulani herdsmen attack in Benue state being laid to rest at a mass burial service on 11 January 2018. The issue of insecurity cased by the killings carried out by the Fulani herdsmen is presently causing widespread consternation across the country. Many observers believe that the crisis is not caused by the struggle for grazing land for cattle but motivated by a sinister political objective of establishing Fulani communities in parts of the country to which they’re not native by taking over the land of the natives

Nigerian diaspora worldwide condemns massacres perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen

Killings carried out by people suspected to be Fulani herdsmen are causing widespread insecurity in Africa’s most populous country. The worldwide community of Nigerian citizens in the diaspora has now issued a press release on the burning national issue.

“The massacre of scores of human beings by Fulani herdsmen in Benue State on New Year’s Day in cold blood sent shockwaves across the Diaspora,” Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), an umbrella body of Nigerians living outside their homeland, noted in the press statement.

The group, which issued the statement after an emergency meeting of ‘NIDO Worldwide Governing Council’ on 21 January 2018, noted with concerns that the latest killings occurred a year after Fulani herdsmen wreaked havoc by burning down Agatu village, killing and maiming hundreds of people, in the same state.

Youths under the umbrella of the ‘Idoma Initiative’ staged a protest March 2016 in Abuja over what they called an “incessant massacre” of the Idoma people in Agatu, perpetrated by suspected Fulani herdsmen. The attacks and massacres occurred in Agatu began in late February 2016 and continued for several days into March. According to Senator David Mark, who represents the area in the Nigerian Senate, at least 500 people died during the attacks. He added: “All the primary and post-primary schools, health centres, worship centres as well as the police station in the area have been burnt down” / Photo: SR

 

“This senseless wholesale murders seem to have become a pattern in the last one year or so in Nigeria where innocent lives are wantonly taken in various parts of the country allegedly by the faceless Fulani herdsmen,” the release, jointly signed by Dr. Kingsman Chikelu, Continental Chairman-NIDO Africa, Engr. Obed Monago Continental Chairman-NIDO America and Hon. Kenneth Gbandi, Continental Chairman-NIDO Europe, said.

Among its resolutions at the extra-ordinary meeting of the ‘NIDO Worldwide Governing Council’, the body called on President Muhammadu Buhari as “the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the Chief Security Officer”:

“To urgently take immediate steps to protect the rights of ALL Nigerians in line with Nigeria’s laws and Constitution.

“to immediately increase efforts in line with the Nigeria’s Constitution and international laws to bring the violent bloodshed by Fulani herdsmen and any other group in Nigeria to an immediate end and with the same vigour and efforts he has used in addressing security challenges posed by Boko Haram terrorists. And to bring ALL perpetrators to face the full wrath of the law

An armed Fulani herdsman. The Fulani herdsmen – cattle grazers – have been named one of the deadliest terror groups in the world amongst Boko Haram, ISIS, Taliban and al-Shabaab. In 2014, according to the Global Terrorism Index (GTI), they were partly responsible for Nigeria being the world’s third most terrorized country / Photo: BellaNaija

 

“To immediately address the immediate and remote causes of the wanton killings of innocent lives by ensuring that equal rights for all citizens as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution are fully respected.”

The letter, which was copied to the Inspector General of Police, Chief of Army Staff, Interior Affairs Minister, Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, noted that:

“These killings across Nigeria, apart from being a colossal human and national tragedy, have further complicated the strategic objectives of NIDO.. to facilitate Foreign Direct Investment from the Diaspora to Nigeria, and to promote partnerships and bilateral co-operations in trade and commerce between Nigeria and the rest of the world.”

Austin Ohaegbu

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