Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion urges Buhari to stop treating Fulani herdsmen like kinsmen

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has been advised by the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion to stop regarding murderous Fulani cattle herdsmen as kinsmen and begin to treat them like the killers and criminals they are.


Over recent years, Nigeria has been plagued by the menace of heavily-armed herdsmen attacking rural farming communities, slaughtering hundreds as they unleash mayhem. Despite the international outrage over the matter, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has been loath to clampdown on the herdsmen, who appear to be well funded and furnished with AK47 assault rifles.


This week, the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion held its 2018 synod at the St. Peter’s Anglican Church, at Amawbia in Anambra State. After the synod, the Bishop of Awka Diocese, Dr Alex Ibezim, condemned the way the Buhari–led federal government is handling the herdsmen menace, wondering why they were being handled with kid’s gloves.


In the bishops' charge with the theme, Mission, the heart of God, the church urged President Buhari to stop treating the killers with levity. Among other things, the synod noted that a group that had killed thousands of Nigerians should not be treated as kinsmen and regretted that the return of democracy in 1999 that ought to be a kind of political liberation had been allowed to divide Nigerians into religious and ethnic cleavages.


“Nigeria, a major oil producer and Africa’s most populous nation and second-largest economy, is facing challenges. Most political parties are much more concerned about upcoming elections rather than the burning issues of the country.


“Political liberalisation ushered in by the return to civilian rule in 1999 has allowed militants from religious and ethnic groups to pursue their demands through violence. Separatist aspirations have also been growing, prompting reminders of the bitter civil war over the breakaway Biafran republic in the late 1960s," the bishops added.


They pointed out that Nigeria while still reeling from the Boko Haram insurgency and its numerous atrocities, another terrorist group, the Fulani herdsmen, sprouted. According to the church these groups of herdsmen have caused enough havoc to be acknowledged by the global community as the fourth deadliest terror group in the world.


According to the synod, between 2014 and 2018, herdsmen had killed over 1,229 people across the country with Benue, Taraba, Nassarawa, Plateau, Kaduna and Katsina, the worst hit states. The synod wondered what President Buhari's silence on the issue could mean, stressing that Nigerians are tired of speeches and condolence messages to victims.


"They are armed with sophisticated weapons and usually attack their target communities at a time they are most vulnerable such as at midnight or on Sundays when they are in church, killing people indiscriminately and burning houses and looting properties. Most worrisome is the brutality and impunity with which the assailants operate without regard for the law and the sanctity of human life.


"The Nigerian police and even the military seem powerless to defend the victims from being mercilessly slaughtered in their homes. It is unfortunate that this level of criminal impunity is happening in a sovereign nation with a constitution which declares that the security and welfare of the citizens shall be a major responsibility of the state," the bishops added.


On the 2019 general elections, the synod urged politicians not to pursue it with senseless desperado and indiscretion. In addition, the synod described President Buhari’s anti-corruption fight as lopsided and ineffectual.


“Perhaps we need to ask why the police and the military are incapable of protecting the farmers from violent attacks by Fulani herdsmen. Is it true that the Fulani militias are better armed and sometimes outnumber the police?


“Why is it difficult for the federal government to contain the terror of the Fulani militia? Who are those arming the Fulani herdsmen to unleash mayhem on innocent and defenceless Nigerians? If this country will continue to remain as one, then those who perpetrate crime must be dealt with accordingly without minding whose ox is gored," the bishops added.




I am pleased with the Synod's statement. 
Buhari is now in competition with GEJ as to who is more ineffectual