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.
“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
“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.”