The Indigeneous ethnic groups in the Middle Belt and South West, have called on President Mohammadu Buhari and the National Assembly, to put an end to the horrendous killings being perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen across the country.
The group, also expressed lack of confidence in the Inspector General of Police Mr Ibrahim Idris, to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly acts, as directed by the Senate, since he already described the killings in Benue state, as mere communal clash, in addition to the fact that, less than 24 hours after the Senate ordered the IG to produce the perpetrators, six people were killed in Benue.
In a Press Release issued to newsmen on Thursday, the groups said the urgency of the situation, informed the collaboration of the indigenous peoples of Southern Nigeria and the Middle belt, in the face of shared history, common agony and trembling challenges.
The groups which signed the statement include, the Oodua Nationalist Coalition, (ONAC), the United Middle Belt Youth Congress, (UMBYC), the Okun Nationality Congress, (OKNC), Oodua Muslim-Christian Dialogue Group, (OMC-YDG), the Oodua Liberation Movement, (OLM) and the Oodua Peoples Congress, (OPC) amongst many others.
According to them, the situation in the Middle belt like Kaduna, Benue, Taraba, Adamawa and Nasarrawa states, particularly calls for urgent action by government agencies.
“War has been declared on our people. It is ethnic Jihad. Middle belt people being killed are both Muslims, Christians and Traditional worshipers. It comes a time that we can no longer watch the endless flow of the blood of our brothers, wives and children. We have the historic responsibility to defend out fatherland together or we perish.”
“Our people cannot live peacefully in their homelands. Our women and men cannot go to farm. Our means of livelihood is the land. We are being told by armed Fulani herdsmen that their cows deserve the right to own our land. We live on our land. We do not trespass on lands in the core North. Why can’t they allow us to be? Why must they destroy our foodstuff and our livelihood in order for them to survive?” the groups stated.
“We as leaders of self-determination groups in the South West and the Middle Belt share the moment of grief following the killings of 73 people in Benue State. In July 2012, 50 people including women and children were killed in Jos by the herdsmen. A Senator, Gyang Dantong representing Jos North and the Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Gyang Fudani were murdered right at the venue of the burial of the 50 innocent souls killed by the Fulani Herdsmen. Only last week, a lawmaker in Taraba State, Hosea Ibi was abducted and his dead body latter found deposited. This is terrific. We can no longer watch as our indigenous territories flow with the blood of the innocent.”
The Middle Belt and South West self-determination groups, in the joint statement, promised to work together to repel aggression in their homeland.
“We as indigenous peoples of the South and Middle Belt of Nigeria have been compelled to come together in the face of the horrendous killings that have been taking place for several years, but have now been intensified in the past few years across the South and the Middle Belt States.”