The time has come for President Muhammadu Buhari to put a stop to the murderous activities of the Fulani herdsmen.
There is no other way of saying this.
It is heartening to see that Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Buhari’s Vice President, a Christian an ordained pastor is beginning to take a hard line stance. His unequivocal message that “Perpetrators of ‘vicious’, horrible attack must not go unpunished” is new and re-assuring for a man who has sat silently as his fellow Christians have been murdered in cold blood.
Buhari has prevaricated and disssembled enough on this matter. At first it was a plea for the middle belters to “accommodate their brothers.” Then in London he said the killers were dispersed fighters fleeing from Ghadaffi’s Libya. Then now, he claims politicians are fanning the embers of hate. You can only fan a smouldering ember so put out the fire, sir.
President Buhari’s prevarication and dissembling is appalling. As the Commander in Chief of Nigeria’s armed forces, he remains the chief security officer of Nigeria. The Inspector General of police whom he claimed disobeyed his instructions is still in office and has today managed to sack the Plateau state commissioner of police.
The work of the police and security forces, in finding the perpetrators of this heinous act, has been made easy by Miyetti Allah, the cattle herders association that calls President Buhari patron.
President Buhari, they say, loves to read the cartoons. He must begin to make out time for headlines but if he missed it I am sure his minders did not. On the front page of Vanguard, the Miyetti Allah openly accepted blame for the latest massacre in Plateau state.
Danladi Ciroma, Chairman of Miyetti Allah, North central Zone, is quoted on the front page of a nationally circulating newspaper as saying that “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 those cows were not found no one should expect peace in the area. 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.”
The questions to ask here are clear: how come Danladi Ciroma has all these details? How come his clear threat is being ignored because as I write this I have not heard of his arrest even though he has said that “Since those cows were not found no one should expect peace in the area?”
Has the army or police corroborated his charge of Berom rustlers stealing cows? And finally what is the penalty for rustling cows in the Nigerian justice system? Surely it is not extra judicial killing by Fulani herdsmen?
This is not the first time Miyetti Allah will brazenly lay claim to mayhem then walk away freely without being arrested. This is terribly unjust and shows that the security agents are in cahoots with these murderous herdsmen.
In no country of the world is human life equated to cows and it is amazing that nowhere in Danladi Ciroma’s statement does he say that Berom cattle rustlers killed a Fulani. So, if they stole cows why can’t they be arrested and charged to court. Why must herdsmen attack and kill the presumed guilty as well as the innocent?
The truth is this has gone on for far too long. Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has been complicit in this by reason of his silence. President Muhammadu Buhari must stop these killings by calling the Miyetti Allah to order.
A human life is worth more than a cow.