By Mustapha Salisu
HOTPEN – A group, the Fulbe Global Development and Rights Initiative (FGDRI), has lamented the killing of pastoralists in Kaduna and Taraba states, saying it is a prelude to genocide.
According to a statement made available to PrimeTime, Wednesday, signed by President General of FGDRI, Salim Musa Umar, there is a need for swift intervention by the government to arrest the situation.
The President General explained that the group is disturbed by constant attacks on Fulbe pastoralists, especially the most recent ones that took place at Bali in Taraba and BirninGwari in Kaduna states.
“In Bali local council, about 12 unsuspecting pastoralists were lured into a deceptive meeting by an armed vigilante group, but ended up being defenselessly attacked and mercilessly massacred by these criminals masquerading as a community vigilante group.”
“Sadly, this terror occurred barely after four days, two pastoralists were forcefully snatched from the police and lynched in Birnin Gwari LGA of Kaduna State,” he said.
Salim Musa added that, It is terrifying to observe that the current killings are not isolated incidences. They are only examples of years of a sustained pattern of elimination, annihilation and ethnic cleansing of Fulbe herding communities in various states of the federation.
He added that “it would be recalled that over a thousand Fulbe pastoralists were massacred in Mambilla in 2017 in the same Taraba state, while hundreds of women and children were butchered in 2018 in Numan, Adamawa state, all without punitive measures taken by the authorities.”
“Add these to the daily state-sanctioned atrocities against herders in Benue state, and the continued maiming of Fulbe in Zamfara and other northwestern states, and you see a gloomy picture of genocide against the Fulbe in this country.
The President revealed that herders are mostly peaceful, self-respecting Nigerians that contribute more than a quarter of the country’s GDP that derives from agriculture, a sector sustained, maintained and financed by the livestock sector, which is largely dependent on the herding communities.
Salim Musa while noting that, he is confident that this country cannot survive a Rwandan experience, called on both the Federal and State Governments to urgently come to the aid of the victims. This is because their cattle were their only source of livelihood were rustled by the same marauding criminals.