Killings: Northern groups demand state of emergency in Benue, Taraba, 2 others

Yerima -   Killings: Northern groups demand state of emergency in Benue, Taraba, 2 others
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..Says region got nothing under Buhari
…Reject state police
…Want establishment of National Pastoralist Commission
Following numerous killings as a result of clashes between suspected herdsmen and farmers, a Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has called on the federal government to immediately declare a state of emergency in four states of Benue, Taraba, Kaduna and Zamfara, adding that the current political structures in affected states be replaced with sole administrators until security conditions improve.
The groups popularly known for their Kaduna state declaration which gave the Igbo ethnic group living in the North a quick notice, also rejected state police as being canvassed by some political leaders, saying such move will be a licence for the state governors to formalise their militia and organise sham elections.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, spokesperson for the coalition, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, supported by other group leaders, also called for immediate setting up of a National Pastoralist Commission (NPC) to act on all matters affecting all citizens whose livelihoods depend on livestock rearing.
While lamenting that the northern region has not benefitted anything tangible under President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, the group reminded the president “with due respect, of the risk of losing both ways as his new friends in the East would typically desert him when the chips are down. And the North which cast the winning votes for him in 2015 would definitely opt to look a different way if he fails to take a decisive and definite stand on the current gang-up against a targeted section of Nigerian citizens.
“We call on the Federal Government to declare state of emergency in the front line states of Taraba, Kaduna, Benue and Zamfara and suspend the current political structures in those states and replace them with sole administrators until conditions improve.
“We call on the federal government to take immediate steps to disband all militias and armed groups in Nigeria by resort to the use of force if needs be, to ensure that no group has the capacity to challenge the State in its prerogative to maintain law and order, and protect citizens’ lives and properties. With regards to the crises in the North, government should take further steps to ensure that both farmers and herdsmen are given adequate protection by state agencies.
“We demand that an exact list of all those who were killed be published and the identity of the perpetrators made known. Compensation to those who lost their properties should thereafter be paid by sanctioning those who are guilty of the crimes.
“We call on the federal government to reconsider its current decision not to interfere with state laws on land use. Contextually, we see this decision as a veiled affirmation of the injurious and vindictive anti-grazing laws that are not just in conflict with the supremacy of our constitution, but also repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience.
“We ask that the presidency, northern federal legislators and northern governors show more zeal and effort at protecting the lives and property of pastoral communities everywhere, and ensuring their right to free movement is not impeded by any legislation or obstacle imposed by a state or a community. The days of being politically correct are over,
“The federal and state governments in the North must deal decisively with the threat of drug and substance abuse across Nigeria and in the North in particular. We reiterate that this trend is fueled to a large extent by outside interests that aim to dislocate the social cohesion of the North, and create a class of aimless and dehumanized individuals who will forever remain a burden on the society.”

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