COPAN Seeks FG’s Intervention as Vigilantes’ Kill Herders in 7 States
The Coalition of Pastoralists Associations in Nigeria, COPAN, has lamented the persistent attacks on herders in the country.
According to COPAN, pastoralists in the country have never had it so bad, despite having a fulani man as Nigerian leader in the last eight years.
Baba Othman Ngelzarma, National President of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, Dr. Salim Musa Umar, President General of the Fulbe Global Development and Rights Initiative, FGDRI, and Alh. Auwalu Gonga, Vice President of the Tabitul Pulaaku International Nigeria Chapter, spoke on behalf of the coalition, at a press conference in Abuja.
They expressed their displeasure with the nonchallant attitude of the government and security agencies towards the plights of herders in the country.
They noted that several of their colleagues in villages and communities in Oyo, Niger, Benue, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba and Gombe States have been killed by armed men, extra-judicially, with many others nursing terrible wounds, at the moment.
They said: “We are deeply worried with the upsurge of bloodletting in the Plateau lately in which over 300 people have been killed and thousands displaced.
“…Sokoto State is in the news again where killings continued unabated in Gwadabawa LGA. So far, 16 people are confirmed killed by members of the outlawed vigilante group.
“…COPAN condemned in toto the renewed violence involving herders and the local Tiv communities in Guma Local Government of Benue State. The last six years of Governor Ortom’s rule had exacerbated the lack of trust between the various communities in Benue, which only serve the narrow interest of Ortom.
“…So far over 400 people including women and children have been killed by a murderous gang of Illegal militia disguised as a vigilante group that is fully supported by Taraba State Government and some traditional rulers”.
The COPAN representatives called on security agencies “to nip this dastardly act now, arrest and prosecute all those involved to serve as deterrence to others”.
Ngelzarma, Umar and Gonga, also appealed to elected officials at various levels of government to be responsive to anything that will escalate insecurity in the country.
“We called on the State Governments to note that activities of the vigilante in the past had only resulted in more heightened reprisals from bandits, who have been unleashing terror in the surrounding areas.
“The security agencies in charge of these areas should do more to protect the innocent people who are continuously harassed by this criminal vigilante and the bandits. We believe the security agencies have the wherewithal to put a stop to this dastardly act of cowardice against unarmed civilians,” they said.
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Report By: PRNigeria.com