The Sultan of Sokoto and president-general of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, yesterday gave the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) two months to identify and apprehend herdsmen behind the killings in the country.
Specifically, he charged the association to find out whether Fulani herdsmen are responsible for the killings or some bandits are disguising as herdsmen to perpetrate the act.
Speaking in his palace during the formal swearing-in ceremony of the newly elected executives of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, the Sultan decried the unwarranted labelling of Fulanis as the killer herdsmen behind massacre in Nigeria.
He insisted that Fulanis are not purveyors of trouble but apostles of peaceful coexistence, just as he warned that generalising a whole race to be bad is a grievous injustice on the people.
He said, “To you the newly elected leadership of MACBAN, I want to remind you that your task is a very challenging one. Don’t forget that Fulanis are also being killed in Nigeria and no media attention is given to it.
“However, we are giving you two months to go round the entire country and find out why Fulanis are accused of being behind the killings. Go and find out who are those Fulanis doing the killings. Also find out if it is other people that are doing the killings and are accusing the Fulanis. Please, we want to get the truth from you within two months”.
The Sultan urged the Miyetti Allah leadership never to be ashamed of being called Fulanis because they are simply herders and not troublemakers.
He said, “We are not ashamed to be called Fulanis because Fulanis are not trouble makers. Despite the fact that any wrong doing in Nigeria now is erroneously said to be caused by Fulanis.
“We however want people to know that though there might be bad ones amongst the Fulanis, just like there are in every race, that is not enough justification to generalise that all Fulanis are bad”.
Insisting that there are herders who are not Fulanis, the Sultan said a typical Fulani man caters for his cattle and will never have time to go for trouble.
Urging the Fulanis to fear God in all their dealings, the religious and traditional leader equally charged Nigerian security agencies to wake up to their responsibilities by ensuring that all those wielding weapons to ferment trouble are arrested and prosecuted.
Appealing to Nigerians to embrace peaceful coexistence, the Sultan charged other states to emulate Sokoto State on how best to accommodate people for peaceful coexistence.
Responding on behalf of all newly elected officers after the oath of office was administered on them by Barrister Abdulrahman Harande Tsamiya, the national president of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Mohammed Kirowa, appealed to Fulanis to continue to embrace peaceful coexistence.
Kirowa who said that Fulanis are not purveyors of troubles added that they will never relent in ensuring that Fulanis live in peace with everybody.
Senate Seeks Review Of Security Tactics
Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately review his security tactics as well as change heads of security agencies and service chiefs, saying it is time to appoint men and women with fresh ideas.
Apparently frustrated and angered by the unabated spate of killings across the country by herdsmen and criminal militia groups, the Senators submitted that because Nigerians are increasingly becoming disappointed and frustrated over government’s failings and inactions on the growing insecurity, democracy has become endangered.
In a motion moved on the matter, Senator Suleiman Adokwe (PDP, Nasarawa State), said the president should seek immediate help from the international community to arrest the worsening insecurity situation in the country.
On his part, Senator Solomon Adeola Olamilekan (APC, Lagos State) insisted that President Buhari must inject fresh ideas into how the security problems in the country can be remedied.
Adeola noted that there is nowhere that is safe in Nigeria with the daily killings that the nation is regaled with.
“The security situation has not improved and what the president need at this time is fresh ideas on how to tackle numerous security challenges confronting the nation” the lawmaker stated.
He argued that the only way to get fresh ideas for the president to address the security challenges is to remove the incumbent service chiefs to give room for those with fresh ideas, stressing that the nation should do away with unproductive tenure elongation in areas where fresh ideas are needed.
“We know the way the military organisation operates. Those with fresh ideas dare not come out against their superiors or else they risk premature retirement from service. So, the current service chiefs should go to allow officers with fresh ideas address our alarming security issues”, he stated.
Also speaking, Senator Jeremiah Useni (PDP, Plateau State), identified the constant clashes among security agencies as part of the security problems.
He maintained that heads of such agencies be removed to pave way for more harmonious relationship among security agencies.
Defending his motion earlier, Adokwe said: “Throughout the weekend and up to the moment that I am speaking, herdsmen have unleashed terrorism and mayhem on the people of my senatorial district, leaving many dead bodies, numerous wounded persons and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons. The victims are largely the Tiv-speaking ethnic nationalities with a reported dead toll of 32 persons and we are still counting.
“The real tragedy is not in the well-coordinated and simultaneous carnage across Awe, Obi, Keana and Doma local government areas of Southern senatorial district but the tragedy stems from the fact that for four days running, this mayhem continues unhindered, unchecked, unstopped by any arm of the law and security enforcement agencies”.
Also contributing, Senator Barnabas Gemade (APC, Benue State) stated that the country is becoming a state without control, a state that is experiencing anarchy and a state in which ethnic cleansing has been witnessed.
According to him, “it is a shame that a sitting government could watch criminality go to the level that we have seen it today and rather than rise up and take very decisive steps against it, we embark on deniability and simply shield this evil by just explaining with flimsy excuses that these are communal clashes in those communities.
“I don’t understand why responsible people elected to control the governments of Nigeria will simply turn away from the reality of facing this matter squarely. And the Inspector-General will fly by helicopter to a town, land in the market square and be asking people whether there is militia in this town or not. And nobody whatsoever seems to call anybody to order. This is very sad. We have done enough of a minute silence for innocent Nigerians being killed”, he added.
Ruling on the motion, deputy president of Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, noted that the primary purpose of government anywhere in the world is the preservation of the lives of citizens.
“If citizens are being killed, we owe the responsibility as a parliament to give it the desired attention. And we will never stop talking about these killings. Unless it stops, we will never be tired of speaking about it”, he stated.
On the need to seek external help, he said, “The time has come for us to seek help from other countries as some of us have suggested here. We should not be ashamed to ask for help.
“The President met with the UK Prime Minister and she was of the opinion that Britain would help us security wise. America is also offering to help. We should not be reluctant to come out openly and say we need help because what we have now is a global village”.
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