By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa—Ijaw Council for Human Rights, ICHR, has faulted the Northern governors’ position that Fulani herdsmen should not be labelled as criminals in the wake of the vicious attack on an Enugu community in which several lives were lost. The Fulani herdsmen, not long ago, also sacked Agatu community in Benue State, where they killed many of the inhabitants.
Founding Director of ICHR, Patterson Ogon, in an interview with Vanguard, described the defence of the herdsmen in the brutal killings in Agatu and Enugu by the Northern governors as puerile, insensitive, unfortunate and lacking empathy for the souls lost.
According to him, “The Northern governors would help us more if they saw the need to address the crimes committed by the itinerant herdsmen and suggest measures to keep them from being a source of concern to the nation. Rather than stand in defence of the vicious and rampaging acts of the herdsmen, who have taken the liberty to invade and destroy lives and property of people far from their homes, the governors should take measures to curtail the excesses of their people.
“The itinerant herdsmen are Fulani. They are killing and maiming innocent people. The silence by the Federal Government is alarming. I hope there is no extra constitutional agenda to this.”
Also speaking, a Niger Delta rights/environmentalist and Coordinator, Environmental Rights Action ERA, Bayelsa office, Alagoa Morris, expressed disappointment over the stance of the Northern governors.
His words: “In this country we heard about how Fela’s mother was thrown down from a storey building by soldiers and they were later tagged ‘unknown soldiers’.
“If, as we heard, the Enugu State governor tried fruitlessly to avert the disaster by reaching the security chiefs based on intelligence report, then it is important that we look at the information at the disposal of the governor before the unfortunate incident. We need to juxtapose that prior information and the actual attack.
“Nigerians must not fold their hands and keep silent like victims of hypnotism until things really get out of hand. It has to be quickly nipped in the bud because it is capable of dividing this country into several nations.”