Mr Frank, in a lengthy letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, wondered the federal government was yet to declare ‘Fulani Militants’ a terrorist group. PoliticsNGR has been furnished with a transcript of the letter;
The Secretary/General of the United Nations
H.E. António Guterres
Thru: UN’s Abuja Office
Central Business Area
Area 1, Garki Abuja.
A CALL FOR URGENT INTERVENTION TO STOP ONGOING ETHNIC CLEANSING AND GENOCIDE IN NIGERIA
It has become imperative for me to once again bring to your attention the continuous mass murder of innocent Nigerians by Fulani Herdsmen without required mitigation from the present administration in the country. The tension between Fulani herdsmen and farming communities has existed for many years. However, there has been a dramatic upswing in recent time with increasing brutal attacks and gruesome killings on a daily basis. The impunity and brutality with which the assailants operate, without regard to law and sanctity of life, is both shocking and appalling. It is however surprising to note that the government of the day which was elected in an unprecedented public approval in 2015, has not deemed it necessary to summon the political will and courage to forge a lasting solution to the violence. The nation’s security is on a free float while Nigerians are being killed in their native communities where they have dwelled for ages.
You are no doubt aware that Fulani herdsmen have been acknowledged by the global community as the fourth deadliest Terror Group in the world. ‘Fulani militants’ as they have come to be known are daily visiting deaths on innocent farmers who dare challenge them after their farms have been ravaged by cattle. For the singular reason that they want their cattle to graze on other people’s farmland, they kill and maim natives. Therefore, lives and property are perpetually endangered across the country as I write.
Curiously however, the government of the day has refused to declare the group asa terrorist organization, as a way of bringing permanent closure to their bloodletting activities. Another worrisome dimension to this orgy of violence is the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari has consistently defended them as a group that merely carry sticks and machetes. However, to the contrary, eyewitnesses report that the Fulani militants are usually armed with sophisticated weapons and often attack their victims when they are most vulnerable, such as midnights, church services and burial ceremonies. They have consistently visited and brutally killed predominantly Christian natives in the North Central Region including some parts of the South and North of the country.
Notable Nigerians have spoken against the killings while the Federal Government has remained silent in the face of increasing loss of human lives. Elder statesmen like former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Gen. Theophilus Danjuma have decried the deteriorating security situation in the country in recent time. However, their admonition for the Executive to step up action to curb the killings has largely fell on deaf ears. As you may be aware, Obasanjo and Danjuma are men of high integrity and requisite knowledge, especially as it relates to security matters, having spent years in the army and risen to the peak of their military careers.
Gen. T.Y Danjuma was quoted as saying that: “You must rise to protect yourself from these people; if you depend on the Armed Forces to protect you, you will die. I ask all of you to be on alert and defend your country, defend your state.” He made the above comments in the face of unnecessary killings which according to him is akin to an act of ethic cleansing being perpetuated against the people of Taraba State, specifically, and Nigeria at large. He further insisted that the military is complicit in the killings.
Besides, in a bid to prompt the government to take action to stop the herders’ murderous activities, a human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), had filed a case of genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Fulani herdsmen and the continued massacre of innocent people and farmers in Jukun in Taraba, at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court. This has not yielded the desired result which is to stop the killings.
Let me state categorically that majority of Nigerians have no knowledge of any effort presently being made by this government to stop these wanton killings and large scaledestruction of property by the Fulani militants, aside emergency deployment of military and police personnel to affected areas long after the militants have complete their murderous assignments. The knee-jerk approach being presently adopted by the government in reaction to increasing loss of valuable lives has given credence to notions that the security lapses leading to massive deaths in the country is as a result of executive fraud and corruption in high places. For example, so much has been budgeted for security in the last three years without concomitant results in adequate protection and safety for citizens. From all indications, it is apparent that the government of the day is sympathetic to the cause of the Fulani herdsmen. The fundamental purpose of government is the protection of lives and property. That has been jettisoned by the present administration. The lives of citizens are no longer of value to President Buhari and his men, just as there appears to have been total collapse of governance in Nigeria in the last three years.
I dare say that the United Nations cannot stand aloof and watch human lives being wasted on such gargantuan scale as being witnessed daily in Nigeria, due largely to the failure of government to rise to the occasion and stem the tide; by doing the needful to safeguard the lives of its own people. I therefore, call on the United Nations and the G7 countries such as the United States of America, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom to come to Nigeria’s aid before it is too late. We as Nigerians have lost confidence in our security outfits, especially the military as they have shown complicity in the killings going on in Nigeria. Questions begging for answers are: Why have they not been able to prevent the attacks, make arrest and prosecute the killers? These attacks are being carried out for hours and no single suspect has been prosecuted? I therefore call on the United Nations and other world powers to make their own private findings as to what is going on in Nigeria as it relates to security matters. As it is, if we don’t get intervention in good time, there may not be Nigeria in the nearest future.
God bless Nigeria.
Comrade Timi Frank