Fulani herdsmen: Pressure mounts on Buhari
By Olanrewaju Oyedeji
Pressure is mounting on President Muhammadu Buhari to take more frontal action on the Fulani herdsmen crisis.
In Lagos, scores of respondents spoken to wondered why the President has not seen it fit to frontally address the issue despite its continuing prevalence.
In Anambra, Eze Professor Chukwuemeka Ike says that on account of recent events in the country including the herdsmen crisis, his 85th birthday would not be lavishly celebrated.
In one such recent riposte also, the Pan- Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere lashed out at the Federal government for being indifferent to the wanton killings by the Fulani herdsmen going on across the country.
Pointedly, the group wondered why government through the Information Minister Lai Muhammed said it was working silently on the matter while killings were done openly by the herdsmen.
Rising from its monthly meeting held in Akure, the group rejected the statement credited to the minister saying several killing “cannot be going on openly and government is working silently”.
A communique issued at the end of the group’s monthly meeting in Akure was made available to the media by its spokesman, Mr. Yinka Odumakin.
They said “we reject the statement of Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Muhammed that the federal government is working silently on this matter.
“Several killings cannot be going on in the open and the federal government says it’s working silently, it is unfortunate that that statement is coming from the federal government of Nigeria.
“There can’t be any silent working over these killing and the action of the federal government must be opened.
They therefore called on President Muhamadu Buhari “to speak up on this matter and to take urgent action to restore the peace of people of Nigeria, especially in the south and middle belt.
The meeting was attended by leaders of the group across the states at the Country home of their Chairman, Pa Reuben Fasoranti
According to the Communique “The meeting is worried about recent spate of killings by Fulani herdsmen across the country as evident in Agatu killings, the murder of Olu Falae’s guard in his farm, the killings in Ibadan and the latest being the heinous murder of over 40 Nigerians in cold blood in Enugu.
“We are worried that federal government seems to have maintained indifference to the wanton killings going on across the country against the provisions of the constitution.
“That the federal government has a duty to protect the lives and properties of every citizens of nigeria.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to speak up on this matter and to take urgent action to restore the sense of people of Nigeria, especially in the south and middle belt .
“We are also worried that the DSS which highly went to the press to say that they discover a grave in the south east where they said they found the bodies of the Fulani men without any DNA has continue to maintain silence also over these killings across the country.
“The DSS had failed to establish that the bodies is from any ethnic group. It’s an organization for all Nigerians and therefore should be concerned and should make the report on the killing across the country not just what they called the killing of people from certain ethnic among the over 250 groups in Nigeria.
“In view of the fact that Yoruba nation has have more than fair share of this siege in the country by these Fulani herdsmen, we demand immediate meeting of all South west governors irrespective of their party affiliation.
” They should ensure that they meet to device means and ways to protect the lives of their citizens and properties against these invaders who are rampaging everywhere
“We equally call on our member in the National Assembly to stand up and speak out on what is going on now so that they can be seen as true representatives of their people
“We believe that given the fact that Nigeria is threading on the path of disintegration if the issue of Fulani herdsmen is not well handled, we demand the immediate implementation of the 2014 CONFAB report which provided solutions to most of the problems confronting Nigerians including the issues of the Fulani herdsmen.
Before now, representatives of the Federal Government have continued to promote the grazing route option as an enduring solution to the crisis, an option that has equally been publicly resisted by some affected communities and states.