*EMIR SANUSI DECLARES SELF FULANI HERDSMEN LEADER
Serving overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly (LRA), Tunde Bakare has wondered President Muhammadu Buhari and his government did nothing about the genocide in Benue even though they were warned 18 months earlier.
Bakare also added that the government has failed in what seem to be its area of strength — security, and has permitted a genocide in some parts of the country.
“Nothing indicts the current government greater than its failure in one key performance area that ought to be its strength: security,” Bakare said.
“Despite recent setbacks, we acknowledge the gains in the war against Boko Haram, but highly disturbing is the mayhem being continually unleashed by herdsmen on communities in different states across the country, including Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Adamawa, Kaduna, Enugu, Edo and Ogun States, leaving trails of weeping and wailing.
“The recent killings in Benue State are akin to the last straw that is set to break the camel’s back. Not only has the government failed to stop these killings across the country, it has done so against the backdrop of conspiratorial silence, choosing rather to label such attacks ‘an issue of communal misunderstanding’, as the Inspector General of Police recently did in respect of the Benue attacks; it has treated the menace with kid gloves even after the Global Terrorism Index 2015 described ‘militant’ herdsmen as ‘the fourth most deadly group of 2014’.
“Worse still, some of these killings have reportedly been carried out in collusion with the military.
Bakare said the federal government has “become complicit for the following reasons:
“By not advancing and vigorously executing policies aimed at pre-empting or preventing these killings even with sufficient warnings: I am reminded of the open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari by a former Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada and Second Republic senator, Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher. Permit me to quote excerpts from that letter:
‘Your Excellency Mr. President…I am pained that you ignored my advice in my private memorandum to you dated 30th July 2016. I had warned you of the possibility of a horrendous genocide in Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Southern Kaduna, and Southern Adamawa States.
‘I asked you to be proactive and stop the genocide that has been ongoing but which would burst out in the open and shock the world within 18 months. Your office replied my letter…thanking me ‘immensely’ and giving me the assurances that the advice would be heeded…I regret to now inform you that it is seventeen months since my warning and prediction and your government did nothing to pre-empt or prevent the genocide.”
“This administration anchored its policy outlook on three main thrusts, including security, job creation through diversification, and anti-corruption, yet all around us are signs of retrogression,” Bakare said.
“As at June 2015, the unemployment rate was 8.2% of a labour force of 74 million, meaning that about 6 million Nigerians were unemployed.
“By September 2017, despite such efforts as N-Power and a range of policies aimed at improving enterprise development and facilitating job creation, the unemployment rate had risen to 18.8% of a labour force of 85.1 million, indicating that between 2015 and 2017, the number of unemployed Nigerians rose from about 6 million to almost 16 million.”
Meanwhile, Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi has declared himself as a patron of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN).
Sanusi said the group is not violent in nature and that the sultan of Sokoto, emir of Katsina, emir of Zazzau and the lamido of Adamawa were also fellow patrons.
“As I understand it when Miyetti Allah was first set up, they requested a few Fulani emirs to be their patrons in their capacity as emirs. The first grand patron was Sultan Abubakar III and he was replaced by successive sultans – Dasuki, Maccido and Saad Abubakar now,” he told PUNCH.
“Other patrons were emir of Kano, Lamido of Adamawa and emirs of Zazzau and Katsina, I believe. So, my predecessor was a patron and on my ascension to the throne, I became a patron. This is all nominal.
“To the best of my knowledge, Miyetti Allah has never been involved in acts of violence and has always condemned violence and called on its members to eschew violence.
“It is, however, committed to protecting the fundamental rights of herdsmen as Nigerians including constitutional right to freedom of movement and the ownership of private wealth and peaceful conduct of their business.”
The monarch criticised the federal government’s handling of an alleged attack on Fulani herdsmen in Taraba state, noting that killings in the Middle Belt were also carried out locals.
According to Sanusi, 800 persons were killed my Mabilla militias “some months ago” but the government failed to act on the matter despite receiving “video and audio evidence of senior politicians” involved.