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Buhari Must End The Middle Belt Massacre Now—Says HURIWA

By Emmanuel Onwubiko
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An appeal has strongly gone to President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly and effectively implement measures to bring to a speedy end the incessant targeted mass assassinations of villagers in Plateau, Taraba and Benue states by armed freelance terrorists suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.

The Rights group warned that should the Federal government deliberately fails to end the spate of well coordinated attacks at villagers in the North Central region of Nigeria then Mr President must resign forthwith for failing the legitimacy test as prescribed for by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

A pro-democracy group – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) in press statement jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss. Zainab Yusuf, against the backdrop of the recent killings by Fulani herdsmen of farmers in parts of Taraba and Birom speaking Plateau States, lamented that the Federal Government has not realistically formulated and implemented a quick-win strategy for ending the widening spectre of blood baths targeted specifically against ethnic minorities in the North of Nigeria. HURIWA nevertheless condemned reprisals against Fulani settlers in those flash points of the recent organised pogroms by suspected armed Fulani marauders.

HURIWA expressed sadness that although the constitution emphasizes the imperative of securing lives and property of Nigerians but regretted that the frequent killings of women, children and the vulnerable in such places as Plateau, Benue and Taraba in huge numbers have yet to abate even as no convincing mechanisms have been activated to arrest and prosecute both the masterminds and the financiers. “There appears to be a well coordinated genocide which specifically targets ethnic and religious minorities in the North. In over three years, more than five thousand vulnerable villagers in the flashpoint states in the middle belt region of Northern Nigeria have been eliminated by terrorists suspected to be armed Fulani herdsmen. Regrettably, not a single killer has been brought to successful trial yet.”

HURIWA wondered what the governors of Taraba, Plateau and Benue have been doing with the humongous financial resources of their states which they corner illegally in the guise of security votes when a segment of the population face constant genocidal executions.

HURIWA fears that the constitutional legitimacy and authority of the current administration both at the center and the States is currently been eroded if these various layers of governments consistently shows weakness and/or lack of political will to do the needful to comply with section 14(2)(b) which provides unequivocally that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the prime purpose of government".

“Government derives legitimacy and authority from the people of Nigeria and if the donors of these authority and legitimacy are being killed by forces and government shows unwillingness to tackle and checkmate the killings, therefore the officials of government whether elected or appointed no longer have legitimacy and authority constitutionally to remain in government", submits HURIWA.

“We call on President Buhari who is also a Fulani by ethnicity to enforce the laws replete in our statutes to stop the alleged genocide of ethnic and religious minorities in Taraba, Plateau and Benue by terrorists who are largely suspected to be Fulanis. We equally condemn any continuous attacks of vulnerable Fulani villagers and/or settlers. Those who kill fellow Nigerians must face the full weight of the law.”