A pro-democracy group, the Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria, HURIWA has warned that Nigeria may be dangerously approaching the precipice of civil war in view of “the seeming conspiratorial silence and clear case of orchestrated ineptitude and inaction” of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to the dare devil activities and blood cuddling violence of armed Fulani herdsmen.
The group, in a statement issued on Tuesday by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko warned the law enforcement agencies and the military to rein in their errant commanders and management level officers to stop deploying armed security operatives to work in concert with suspected armed Fulani herdsmen to create anarchy and civil unrest across Nigeria.
HURIWA claimed that some top commanders within the Division One of the Nigeria Army illegally deployed armed soldiers who invaded Awgu Enugu State community whereby 76 indigenous Igbo farmland owners were arrested and hauled into the Umuahia prison for allegedly resisting the plots and activities of some armed Fulani herdsmen to annex some of their ancestral farmlands for the purposes of illegal grazing of cattle.
It called on the armed forces to immediately dismantle and arrest the well coordinated armed Fulani terrorists who are currently engaging in the criminal kidnap of prominent Nigerians for the purposes of extorting heavy ransoms.
HURIWA particularly condemned as the heights of provocation the kidnap in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State of a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Aniako Celestine, priest in charge of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Ukana, Udi Local Government Area who was kidnapped by suspected Fulani herdsmen Saturday evening on his way from his home town, Ezeagu.
While stressing that military and police commanders within the South-East must stop this dangerous trend, the rights group noted that for the herdsmen to have demanded a ransom of N10 million through the hostage’s mobile number, shows the sophisticated nature of the crime. It then wondered why the law enforcement agents are yet to deploy the necessary tracking technological systems to arrest the armed kidnappers.
According to the statement, “the frightening report in the dailies that the activities of herdsmen in Ugwuleshi, Awgu Local Government Area of the state, last week, led to destruction of farmland and livestock worth millions of Naira and the detention of 76 members of the community, who were later granted bail by Umuahia Magistrate’s Court last Friday, following Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s intervention, is a serious cause for concern”.
“The further aggravating news that Fulani herdsmen had also killed two sisters in Abbi, Uzo Uwani Local Government Area last month leaving 17 houses burnt is reprehensible and abominable. The President should implement transparent measures to disarm these armed Fulani marauders who are currently rampaging all across the rest of the Nigerian communities. The Federal government of Nigeria headed by the Fulani indigene of Katsina State Muhammadu Buhari must act now to prevent the imminent civil war which may be occasioned by the unwarranted levels of destruction by armed Fulani herdsmen.”