Insecurity: Fulbe group laments killing of pastoralists in Taraba, Kaduna, others

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 Blueprint in Abuja, Wednesday, signed by President General of FGDRI, Salim Musa Umar, there is need for urgent intervention by government to save the situation.

The statement reads: “In the last few days, the media is flooded with images of innocent Fulbe pastoralists butchered and maimed in Taraba and Kaduna states. The Fulbe Global Development and Rights Initiative (FGDRI) is distressed by these rampant pogroms, especially the most recent ones that took place at Bali in

Taraba and BirninGwari in Kaduna states.                 

“In Bali local council, 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 community vigilante group. According to reports, twelve (12) pastoralists were shot dead and many sustained life threatening injuries by these AK47-wielding armed criminals.

“Sadly, this terror occurred barely four days after two pastoralists were forcefully snatched from the police and lynched in Birnin Gwari LGA of Kaduna State. It is frightening to observe that the current killings are not isolated incidences. They are only examples of years of sustained pattern of elimination, annihilation and ethnic cleansing of Fulbe herding communities in various states of the federation.

“Recall 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.

“It is our conviction that herders are mostly peaceful, self-respecting Nigerians that contribute more than a quarter of the country’s GDP that derive from agriculture, a sector sustained, maintained and financed by the livestock sector, which is largely dependent on the herding communities.

“It is also our conviction that this country cannot survive a Rwandan experience, which is already knocking at our doors, as Fulbe have been continuously stereotyped as criminals and are now being killed at will without recourse to humanity or the authorties ensuring justice.

“The FGDRI, being a sociocultural think-tank that seeks to formulate and manage the strategic interests of Fulbe and their neighbors in Nigeria, West Africa and beyond, condemn these heinous crimes that have become an aberration to the peaceful coexistence of this nation. We unequivocally call on the concerned governments and law enforcement agencies to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice in order to serve as deterrence to others.

“FGDRI is grateful for the swift response of the security agencies in apprehending four suspects connected with the crime in Taraba State and to the Kaduna State Government for its proactive measures in addressing the issue.

“We are calling on the Federal and State Governments to urgently come to the aid of the victims. This is in view of the fact that their cattle and only source of livelihood were rustled by same marauding criminals.

“FGDRI is going to monitor the events as they unfold and would facilitate engagements with the security agencies to ensure justice is served without delay.”

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