President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, has berated the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government for not acting decisively on the menace of the notorious Fulani herdsmen. He therefore called on the government to take positive bold steps towards intervening in the issue of Fulani herdsmen before it turns into a civil war.
Also yesterday, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria said the response of President Muhammadu Buhari to the massacre of scores of innocent people in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State by Fulani herdsmen on Monday was worrisome and inadequate. These statements however coincided with the day, Buhari ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to tighten security across the country, just as the IGP pledged that the level of wanton destruction of lives and property in Benue State would no longer repeat itself.
CAN President, in a statement said the herdsmen had been moving from community to community killing innocent farmers with impunity without the Buhari government doing anything to protect the lives of the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He said: “They (herdsmen) have killed more people than the Boko Haram sect and almost displaced more people than Boko Haram. We are now at a breaking point in our patience and toleration of this impunity.
“While the government has taken the battle to Boko Haram, the Indigenous People of Biafra, the Badoo boys, the Niger Delta Avengers and other groups, the government has not shown any willingness to checkmate the murderous Fulani herdsmen. This to us is a betrayal of the confidence reposed in this government by Nigerians when they voted them into power.” The CAN President also wants to know why the intelligence units of all security apparatus in the country had not been able to discover the sources of supply of ammunition to the herdsmen.
He stated: “The Customs and the Immigration services together with the Police have a case to answer. Who are the suppliers of these weapons? If the murderous herdsmen are foreigners, as it is being claimed in some quarters, why did they allow dangerous foreigners into our country to come and kill us? Our government has a case to answer too. We are therefore tasking the government of the day; the Executive, the Senate, the House of Representatives and all security agencies to rise up to their responsibilities and we equally call on all stakeholders to come together for a solemn assembly that would address all these things and come out with lasting solution to these senseless attacks.”
In the same vein, Catholic Bishops said the response of President Buhari to the Benue massacre was inadequate. They said, “We have intelligence units that should be on the ground sniffing around to prevent crisis of this nature. That this happened again shows that there is negligence somewhere; seemingly, there is little being done. Proactive measures are not top priority; we only focus on reactive measures when the harm had been done. We are saying ‘prevent the horse from escaping,’ but this is not being done. Proactive and reactive measures must go hand-in-hand. This is where we feel there is inadequacy; we don’t do much of proactive measures.”
The Bishops expressed sadness over Buhari’s silence on the gruesome murder of a traditional ruler, his wife and two others in Kaduna State on Tuesday. They said a situation whereby security agencies keep silence while herdsmen continue killing people across the country, portends great danger that might have ripple effects.