Who Doesn’t Know The Military Kills Nigerians For Fulani Herders? – By Erasmus Ikhide
ONE of the problems with Nigeria and its leadership is that it’s a nation living in self denials. The Presidency’s, coupled with the military spokesman’s sanctimonious responses, the Senate’s belated intervention and halfheartedness on Gen. T. Y. Danjuma’s righteous indignation against the military’s overt collusion with Fulani herdsmen in the deliberate killing of Nigerians of other ethnic extractions has further exposed the well planned and known agenda of the military and its minders.
The military spokesman, Brigadier General Texas Chukwu knows that he was deceiving himself when he quipped that the Nigerian Army has never been involved in the callous killings of Nigerians to pave the way for the terrorists Fulani herders to ease their criminal murderous escapades. He knows that Nigerians and the global community didn’t believe when he intoned that the duty of the military was to protect the Nigeria territorial integrity and ward off external aggression.
General Chukwu further averred that the military only engaged in internal peace keeping at the prompting of a special needs. But he didn’t tell Nigerians whether that internal duty included extortion of money from motorists plying the nation’s roads in the areas where they have been deployed particularly in the South East. Or don’t we deserve to know why over twenty military tollgates dotted between Auchi in Edo State and Lokoja in Kogi State. What use are these money extortion points when the military have truly ‘technically’ decimated the Boko Haram militias in the North East? When shall we have operation “Camel Dance” to subdue the terrorists Fulani herders murderous tendencies? What purpose did Operation “Crocodile Smile” serve other than nihilistic agenda to exterminate the Igbo people for daring to demand for self-determination?
In the event that the military and their minders keep pretending not to know that they have been killing Nigerians to the admiration of President Muhammadu Buhari on the auspices of militia Fulani herders, these few instances will suffice. On September 12, 2017 elders of Benue communities told Presidential Seven-man Panel headed by Justice Biobele Georgewill in Abuja set up to investigate alleged human rights violation by the Nigerian Army that “soldiers helped rampaging herdsmen to attack us”.
Testifying at the Panel, the residents of Moon Valley communities in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State took turns to narrate their experiences. They narrated how about 30,000 persons were sacked by the military from their abode. Represented by their lawyer, Mr. Mike Utsaha, the community told the panel that while 28 persons were killed in the attack, 91 compounds and property were destroyed. According to the community, the attack was carried out by the 93 Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Takum, Taraba State.
The Community, through an 18-page memorandum submitted to the Panel, stated how following intense and sustained attacks from 2013 to 2015, they were massacred and displaced from their ancestral home by the combined team of soldiers and herdsmen. Witnesses account In his testimony, the first petitioners’ witness, Mr. Jacob Kwaghkper, who is a retired Deputy Director with the National Commission for Colleges of Education, told the panel that from 2015 to June 2017, five communities that make up the Moon Valley were subjected to intense, sustained and coordinated attacks by soldiers from the 93 Battalion and herdsmen, leading to the death of 28 people. He told the panel that the herdsmen, with the active support of soldiers, were still occupying portions of ancestral lands belonging to the five communities.
Lamenting before the Panel, Kwaghkper said: “The soldiers are even providing security for the herdsmen who are occupying the ancestral lands of the communities. According to him, “The displaced people of the communities, who escaped from the series of sustained attacks have become refugees in Cameroon and Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, taking shelter in various places in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State, under the watchful eyes of both the federal and state governments without any form of assistance.”
Another witness, Mr. Agbo Utah, told the Panel that soldiers watched as herdsmen burnt down his compound. He also narrated how he was beaten, arrested and detained for a week by soldiers who disrupted local government election held in the area in 1998. Aside the narratives, the displaced communities prayed the Panel to order the immediate restoration of their ancestral lands with adequate compensation. They further want all places of worship, schools and markets that were destroyed as a result of the attacks by soldiers of the 93 Battalion, Nigerian Army, Takum, Taraba State, and herdsmen, be rebuilt on their original sites.
On October 19, 2017 Fulani herders militias killed 29 villagers in the presence of the Nigerian Army in the Nkiedonwhro community in Irigwe, Plateau State. This was however denied by Captain Umar Adams as untrue without providing convincing explanation. This denial followed allegations made by the President of Rigwe Development Association, Sunday Abdu, who said an eyewitness account confirmed that soldiers actively contributed to the success of the herdsmen’s attack which he called an ‘execution’.
According to him, “The soldiers masterminded the killing; that was what happened. The people were at home when they heard gunshots. Some of them were assured by the soldiers of safety. Then, one of the soldiers told the ward head to follow them for protection. And he obliged, believing that the soldiers would give them safety. “As this was going on, some young men, women and children were gathered in the classroom of a primary school. One of the young men refused to enter the classroom, insisting on staying with the soldiers. The person saw everything that happened.
“He saw some people in the bush giving signs with their hands to the soldiers. It was between 6:30pm and 7:00 pm; he saw the hand as if it was calling some people. The boy told the soldiers, ‘See oo, there is somebody in the bush giving signals with his hands and he is a Fulani person.’ “‘He said that immediately after that, there was a gunshot and the soldiers advised residents to remain in the classroom while they (the soldiers) went for the attackers. He alleged that one of the soldiers signalled the assailants to attack. “That was how the execution was carried out.”
In Edo State, like other states of the federation is not isolated from the military bias and open solidarity with Fulani militia herds. On May 23, 2017 Mr Ehimen Abuya, one of the youths in a peaceful protest in Ewu over the Fulani herdsmen’s raping and killing of two women in the community was shot in the leg by an Hausa Fulani soldier. The leg was later amputated at the Irrua Specialists Teaching Hospital in the state. The governor of the state, Mr. Godwin Obaseki who does not want to offend the powerful forces in Aso Roack who have officially endorsed the killings of Nigerians by soldiers and Fulani herders quietly picked the hospital bills of the amputated victim and compensated the family of the two women killed by the marauding beasts!
In the same Edo State on February 14, 2018 four men dressed in military uniforms with AK47s in a Honda car marked, AP 641 KTN shot and killed one Mr. Efe Igbinoba, a vigilante member at Obadolovbiyeyi community in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area. The crisis started when the local vigilante group in the community arrested some herdsmen for alleged armed robbery on the Benin-Abraka expressway. Igbinoba was said to have been directed to watch the arrested herdsmen while his colleagues conducted a search for the other fleeing members of the robbery gang. Suddenly, a group of armed men in military uniforms stormed the area and fired sporadically and shot Igbinoba, killing him in the process. After which they freed the arrested herdsmen and took them away in a Gestapo manner.
Two of the gunmen were later attested by the police. The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo confirmed the incident. Mr. Kokumo said, “The herdsmen were alleged to have blocked the expressway. Two of them are with the police undergoing interrogation. On the alleged killing of the vigilante by armed men in military uniforms, Mr. Kokumo said, “That is an allegation we are investigating. Actually, one of the vigilante members died in the course of duty.” The 4th Brigade — as usual — came up with the “we knew nothing about the unknown soldiers involved in killing act”.
Then why will Nigerians not defend themselves when the security agencies and the Armed Forces solely vested with the constitutional responsible as the organs in control of monopoly of violence and coercion have abdicated, thereby defrauding Nigerians of their sovereign rights to security of both their persons and property? It is in the light of the above that the call to bear arms and defend “yourselves” against the rampaging Fulani herders militias by several concerned Nigerians, especially the highly revered Gen. T. Y. Danjuma is germane at this moment.
Although there is a directive by the Inspector General of Police for all militias to voluntarily disarm. This again, is a policy aimed at neutralizing the self protective efforts of other ethnic groups. Otherwise, why are they not mopping up weapons from the Fulani Herdsmen? Don’t they possess more sophisticated weapons and AK47s than any other regional or ethnic militia in this country — roaming around the country with it —killing people at their will, developing an unusual hybrid of impunity in the process? With what will Nigerians defend themselves when the military and the police are conspiring with the Fulani herders? Has the Nigerian government ever found out why the Switzerland authority issued out guns to every household and trains every adult on gun handling, yet the country remains the lowest gun related crime rate of any civilized country in the world?
Nigerians should be knowledgeable about their constitution which permit them to defend themselves when in danger, especially of this magnitude. It’s that right the Inspector General of Police Mr. Ibrahim Idris wants to take away from us when he asked Nigerians to give up their licensed guns, without disarming the terrorists Fulani herders, first. Nigerians will be victims of history because history is useless if it’s not usable in the future. In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1911, Turkey established gun control laws. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenian Christians were slaughtered and their cities now Muslim dominated while their churches have been converted to Mosques. Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Also, 56 million defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property yet, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.
The United States has never implemented a gun control which they feel keeps them safe from any invasion. But the Buhari Fulani dominated Security Council wants your self-defense destroyed — at the same time empowering their kinsmen to come in and take over your lands — colonize your towns and villages!
Next time the Armed Forces tell you about dropping your arms or sermonizes in favour of gun control, please remind them of this history lesson. With guns, we are “citizens”. Without them we are “subjects”. That way, the military wouldn’t have you killed for the militia Fulani herders, cheaply.
Erasmus, A cAffairs Analyst writes from Lagos.
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