By Innocent Okoro
Across the country, there has been skirmishes between nomadic pastoralists and sedentary farmers. These result to the wanton killing of villagers in their homes and farmlands. The killings have risen in recent times and the current administration has been widely accused of not doing enough to stop the herdsmen. In Agatu, Benue State, about 300 people were killed last year by herdsmen. Similarly, dozens of people were killed by the herdsmen in Enugu State, dragging the Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to tears when he visited the scene.
Recently, there has been resumed clashes in Southern Kaduna between the herdsmen and the minority tribes. These has resulted to wanton killings and destruction of properties. While Christian Associations place the number of those dead at over 800, security agencies say that about 200 people have been killed. People are accusing the governor, Mallam Nasir Ahmed El-rufai of being aloof to the killings because he is Fulani. They point to a tweet credited to the Governor in 2012 where he said that “Anyone, soldier or not that kills the Fulani takes a loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes”. In an interview, the Governor had said that his administration paid some herdsmen to prevent them from carrying out reprisal attacks, this did not gone down well with the people of Southern Kaduna.
The Presidency has also been accused of not caring about the plight of those who perish at the hands of the AK-47 wielding herdsmen because he is Fulani. While the Presidency commissioned a full military operation to check the activities of cattle rustlers, no such action has been taken against the murderous herdsmen.
In this hopelessness, a lot of people have lost hope in the Government with some Church leaders issuing out a call to arms. However, Angela Watt penned down a petition to the United Nations and UK Parliament to intervene and bring an end to the killings. The petition read “Over the past years, the Fulani herds men have been killing Christians, middle belt indigenes, and, most recently, Southern Kaduna people and Christians, under the watch of President Buhari. These killings have increased significantly since the election of President Buhari as the Nigerian President. From the killings of the Agatu people in Benue state to the massacre of people in Plateau and Taraba State to the Killings in Enugu State and now Kaduna state. We Christians, farmers and indigenous people of the middle belt are sick and tired of these atrocities being committed by the Fulani herdsmen, mercenaries etc. We call on the United Nations to look into this matter as the indigenous people and Christians are systematically targeted and killed so that they will be displaced of their land. Under the government’s watch people, including women and children, have continually been murdered. We ask you to support our petition so that the terror and killings will stop. Stop the killings of the Southern Kaduna people”.
In two days, the petition has already gathered close to 200 signatures.