Adamawa, Taraba farmers’ unions to drag President before ICC

By Editor on 30/06/2018

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The Maize Farmers’ Association of Nigeria, Adamawa State Chapter, said on Friday that it was planning to drag President Buhari before the International Criminal Court, The Hague, Netherlands.

The association’s chairman, Hammantukur Ginbau, said the move was to draw the attention of the international community to the plight of farmers in the Middle Belt.

He said the persistent herdsmen killings had sacked most farmers from their farms and there was no guarantee they would ever return to avoid being killed.

He said, “We want to protest against the killing of farmers by herdsmen, which has hindered farming in most communities in the Middle Belt.

“We’ll soon be forwarding a petition to the ICC to draw the attention of the international community to the nonchalance of President Buhari and his security chiefs to the genocide going on in the country, which is clearly targeted at farmers.”

The Farmers’ Protection Council in Taraba State on Friday also said it would seek partnership with other groups in the Middle Belt to drag the President to the ICC.

The chairman of the group, Mr. Bitrus Ibrahim, said the group had already documented enough evidence and compiled the data of farmers killed in the state by suspected herdsmen.

“Since the President has failed to address the issue, we are now planning to file a judicial action against him at the ICC. We have enough evidence to support the case and we are ready,” he said.

Sultan, Emir of Kano, other Miyetti Allah patrons not doing enough –Groups

In a related development, diverse groups across the country have berated the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III; the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II; the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumuni Usman; the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris; and the Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji Muhammadu Musdafa, for not doing enough as patrons of    Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, to stop the persistent killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

The groups – including the Niger Delta Youth Parliament, Ijaw Youth Congress, the Federation of Middle Belt People and the Arewa Youth Forum – said the traditional rulers were not doing enough to engage members of MACBAN on the issue.

The groups said they were bothered about the lingering crisis, especially with the recent massacre carried out by suspected killer Fulani herdsmen in Plateau State, which left 86 persons dead.

The Emir of Kano had in January named himself, the Sultan of Sokoto, the Emir of Katsina, the Emir of Zazzau and the Lamido of Adamawa as all patrons of MACBAN.

Speaking with Saturday PUNCH, the President of the Ijaw Youth Congress Worldwide, Mr. Eric Omare, said the northern traditional leaders were not doing enough to stop the killings by suspected members of the Miyetti Allah.

He said, “If they had been doing what ought to be done, the killings would have been abated by now. They have failed in their leadership responsibility.

“They need to show more leadership by stepping up in their responsibility. They need to do more in engaging the Miyetti Allah and finding a lasting solution to the ongoing crisis.”

The National Coordinator of the Niger Delta Youth Parliament, Mr. Imoh Okoko, also said it was wrong for the patrons of the Miyetti Allah to be silent on suspected herdsmen killings.

Okoko explained that the silence of the traditional rulers could mean they were sponsoring the dastardly acts by the herdsmen.

He argued that the patrons should either renounce their patronship of MACBAN or caution the members against shedding blood, allegedly.

Okoko said, “It is shocking that such killings are taking place. If somebody accepts that he is the patron of an association that has owned up to killings, then the person should talk to the association to stop the killings.

“If you are a patron of a violent group, you should denounce the group or talk to them so that they can change. The Fulani herdsmen are also embarrassing President Buhari.”

Okoko further suggested that if the Niger Delta militants could have stopped bombing during the former President Goodluck Jonathan-led government, President Buhari and the northern traditional rulers also ought to have prevailed upon Fulani herdsmen to stop the killings, being of the same extraction.

He said, “When Jonathan was the President, the Niger Delta militants stopped bombing. It is stupid for anybody in the world to compare the precious lives of human beings to those of cows.

“The government should also hold the patrons of the violent group responsible because they are keeping silent and their silence may be interpreted as sponsoring the killings.”

The Coordinator of the Federation of Middle Belt People, Mr. Manasseh Watyil, argued that it might be impossible for the patrons to seek an end to the killings due to their personal interests.

He said, “They are the patrons of herdsmen and they have three cardinal objectives. First, they are fighting a jihad. Second, they are chasing farmers away from their farms to have enough grazing areas.

“Third, they want to maintain power as they claim to have the monopoly of rulership. If they are able to capture the Middle Belt down to the South, they would have got Nigeria an Islamic State.”

Although the National President of the Arewa Youth Forum, Alhaji Gambo Gujungu, said Buhari should be solely held responsible for the killings, he stated that the Miyetti Allah patrons also ought not to have been silent on the issue.

“They (patrons) should come out to address the situation,” he said.

However, the President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, said it would be wrong to blame the Miyetti Allah patrons for the killings.

He said, “They are doing enough, especially in a country where the government is not doing enough. You know, the traditional rulers are not political leaders, so their efforts are limited.

“And let us not forget that there are many factions in the Miyetti Allah today. Personally, I know the Sultan of Sokoto has been working well with other traditional leaders to end the crisis.”

In the meantime, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has again asked President Buhari to declare the killer herdsmen as a terrorist organisation.

In a statement, the Special Adviser to the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Media and Publicity, Chief Emeka Attamah, said the proscription could bring a lasting solution to the killings.

“While the Federal Government proscribed the Indigenous People of Biafra, a harmless organisation, the Miyetti Allah, who has openly claimed responsibility for most of the killings has been going around unscathed,” he said.

Posted 30/06/2018 06:56:33 AM


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