July 26, 2020

Northern killings may spread to other parts of the country if… ― MBF

Southern Kaduna killings may spread to other parts of the country if... ― MBF

Lots of killings in the far north not being reported

Nigeria heading to a failed state

Presidency’s silence and inaction sending wrong signals

Security architecture has to change

By Peter Duru – Makurdi

The National President of the Middle Belt Forum, MBF, Dr Pogu Bitrus has described as unfortunate the mounting insecurity and killings in the north warning that it could spread to other parts of the country if something was not done urgently to contain it.

He alleged that the killings in the far north were being carried out by Fulanis against the indigenous Hausas while those attacking the middle belt were doing it for the purpose of land grabbing.

Dr Bitrus who spoke in Makurdi in a telephone interview observed that the killers were doing it for unjustifiable reasons cautioning that the failure of the presidency to end the killings was passing a wrong signal that it was happy with the killings.

According to the MBF National President, “It is an unfortunate development, but we believe, within the middle belt, that these killers are into a primary objective of land grabbing.

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“In the far north, it is the Fulanis killing the indigenous Hausa. They are eliminating the indigenous Hausa. Hardly do you find Fulani moving against Fulani. Usually, if it is Fulani against Fulani they rustle the cattle of those who have refused to participate in the attacks so that they would cripple them, forcing them to participate in the ongoing carnage.

“So the issue is, this President who served as Head of State in a military regime had promised that he was going to end insurgency within six months. And in his campaign slogan, he said he would take us to the next level. We demand that he explain the next level he meant.

“Because what is going on is that Fulanis, mainly without cattle, are moving around and killing people without justifiable reason. Unfortunately, instead of dealing with the leaders of the security machinery which we have, that is the service chiefs, he continues to retain them.

“So it means that any right-thinking person will conclude that this man has an agenda and maybe he has a hand in it. If not why are the killings going on and he has not done anything to address it? Even when the National Assembly told him to remove the service chiefs.

“And unless something is done urgently, this thing is going to spread all over the country. I must point out that a lot of it is not being reported in the media.

“The ones we hear about are the ones from areas where you have people who are enlightened, who report such things.

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“These killers are slaughtering people in the farms all over the North East on a daily basis and nobody is reporting it.

“So irrespective of whether it is in Katsina, in Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Yobe, Niger, Nasarawa, Southern Kaduna or Kebbi states it is still going on all over the states up till now even after a former Chief of Air Staff came out and addressed the press saying that they are convinced beyond doubts that helicopters drop supplies to these killers.

“The news was there on air, this presidency didn’t care. As far as I am concerned the conclusion is that they are part of the problem of Nigeria.

“And unless this President changes his attitude towards his primary objective of governance which is providing security and welfare to his people, then we can say this state has failed and this presidency has failed.

“I am not talking politics, I am talking based on facts. The constitution says the primary objective of the government is the provision of security and welfare to its citizens. That has not been done, it is not being done and unfortunately, the President refused to remove the people at the helm of affairs, that is the service chiefs.

“The only conclusion is that he is happy with what is going on. And it is unfortunate that we have such a president in place but Nigerians will have to cry-out till he does the right thing.”

Preferring solution to the crisis, Dr Bitrus called for a change in the security architecture of the country. “The solution is that the security architecture has to change. The President should bring in competent people to handle it.

“When soldiers are kept in one position just to guard villages instead of combing the entire place, they use propaganda to tell us what they have done without any verification, while the attackers are moving around freely in the bushes and killing people. It all means that it is all propaganda that these service chiefs are into.”