Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, on Tuesday condemned the alleged silence of President Muhammadu Buhari in the face of herdsmen killings.
HURIWA warned that Buhari’s silence could “spark a bigger conflagration if not quickly checked.”
The rights group stated this while condemning armed herdsmen attacks in Enugu and Anambra States.
HURIWA urged South-East Governors and state parliaments to pass laws empowering armed vigilante groups and to grant licences to citizens to bear arms for self-protection.
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, the rights group also condemned Federal government’s deliberate failure to declare “armed Fulani killer gangsters as a terror organisation even when the killers are always backed by a platform known as Miyetti Allah Cattle Owners Association.”
The Rights group warned that the, “conspiratorial silence of President Muhammadu Buhari manifested through his inability to surgically deal with Fulani armed gangsters masquerading as herdsmen could spark a bigger conflagration if not quickly checked.”
The statement reads: “The Constitution confers the power on state Assemblies to pass laws for the good governance, security and wellbeing of their citizens. These unprovoked killings will continue so long as government fails to empower all citizens to take up legal weapons to put an end to the treacherous activities of armed hoodlums paid to commit genocide to advance the Ethno-religious interest of some persons who are treated by the central government as sacred cows.
“We condemn the Nigerian government for doing nothing to stop the spread of attacks by well-armed Fulani killer gangsters but has always rapidly deployed armed security forces to protect the armed Fulani herdsmen from reprisals whenever these undesirable armed elements undertake their sordid and despicable crime against humanity. Where were the armed security forces in Anambra and Enugu states before the armed Fulani herdsmen struck and why are the soldiers being deployed to protect the suspected killers? The government must be made to come clean on these serial killings by armed Fulani herdsmen all over the Country if Nigeria must be stopped from nosediving into a state of civil war. These killings must stop or must be stopped by all means.
HURIWA recalled that armed men suspected to be herdsmen, over the weekend invaded Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State, leaving six people dead, some of them beheaded.
The rights group quoted an eyewitness, Mr Orjiako Nnaluo (Ideh Anam), who spoke to journalists, as saying that the herdsmen stormed farm settlements known as Agweopia Camp, Iyiogbu Camp and Iyinkolo, respectively around 5:40am and started killing people, burning houses and raping many women.
Another eyewitness, Nnaluo said before people of the area could know what was going on, the herdsmen had killed six people, leaving about 30 others with various degrees of injuries just as he disclosed that the injured are currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital.
HURIWA also carpeted President Muhammadu Buhari for failing to arrest the sponsors of the banditry in Zamfara state which has killed over 6000 people.
The Rights group wondered how the “government hoped to stop the killings by merely banning mining activities as if the people been killed by bandits and their cattle were stolen are solid minerals and no longer human beings. “Mr. President!; please note that Zamfara people are citizens and not solid minerals. Banning mining activities makes no sense. What will make sense is to clinically arrest the killers and their sponsors and deal decisively with them in accordance with the laws or they should be taken to the International Criminal court or you resign if you can’t stop these seemingly unending killings all over Nigeria since you assumed office.”
HURIWA said that, “only intelligence-led security operations can bring to an end those sorts of killings. But it’s clear that this government supports killers because how can we explain that this government has continued to recruit Boko Haram terrorists into the Nigerian Army under the dubious guises that they have been deradicalised. Any government that goes into this sort of toxic communion and sinister accord with terrorists will never be able to stop mass killings. Nigerians in their millions must start massive street demonstrations to mount pressure on the government to either act decisively against mass murderers or to resign or be thrown out of power by all means”.