FEATURE ARTICLE

E O EkeThursday, February 8, 2018
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GOVERNOR ORTOM OF BENUE STATE NEEDS HELP AND SUPPORT

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he unfolding pogrom in Nigeria is taking a sinister turn. The government of Nigeria and the police are now against the governor of Benue State because he is protesting the genocide against his people by Fulani herdsmen.

The inspector general of police is trying to frame innocent people for crimes committed by Fulani herdsmen, instead of arresting Fulani herdsmen and bringing them to justice.

Fulani herdsmen invaded a village in Enugu and not a single reaction from those in position to respond, and people still believe that the current leadership in Igbo land is fit for purpose.

The aggressors know that all they have to go to win is keep doing what they are doing, knowing that the victims lack the will, courage and means to fight back.

Federal government of Nigeria' media offensive of lies and misinformation about the crimes against humanity taking place in Nigeria.

On the 21st of November 2016, on my way to work, I tuned in to BBC. World service on Radio 4 and was surprised by what I heard.

A BBC reporter, reporting from Nigeria was reporting a pack of lies About the ongoing ethnic cleansing of minorities in north Nigeria.

He was reporting about the incident, which had prompted widely circulated statement my many religious and ethnic groups, who have born the brunt of campaign of terror perpetrated by Fulani militia, herdsmen, Nigerian army and police, in the region and beyond, like the one below

Statement by Evangelical Church Winning All, (ECWA) 19 DCC Fellowship, Kaduna State On The Persecution Of The Church in Kaduna State.

16 November 2016

At ECWA Kaduna Central DCC Secretariat, No 6, Ali Akilu Road, Challenge Bookshop Compound, Kaduna.

Gentlemen of the press,
We welcome you to this important briefing by ECWA 19 DCC Fellowship.
Gentlemen, ECWA 19 DCC is the fellowship of all the ECWA Districts in Kaduna state, with about 2000 pastors in 950 churches and over 2 million worshippers in the State. ECWA is about the biggest Christian denomination in the state.

Having made this clarification, gentlemen of the press, deeply concerning events that have been occurring in our beloved state, and particularly in Southern Kaduna, during the past few months seem to be taking a turn for the worse. As servants of the God of peace and justice, who has charged us to care for all humanity, we cannot keep silent as unprecedented violence is visited on communities and on the Church by malign forces whose motivation is now becoming clearer.

Since the violent aftermath of the 2011 Presidential Election, there have been increasing indications of the existence of a desperate, well-funded, organised and executed campaign not only to make life unbearable for the entire Southern Kaduna territory through threats, intimidation and psychological warfare, but also to occupy the land through what can only be described as ethno-religious cleansing by Fulani herdsmen militia.

This campaign has been devastating. The Attakad Community Development Association, has confirmed that at least 180 people have been killed in Attakad Chiefdom, Kaura LGA, since 2013 and 10,000 persons displaced.

Since 24 March 2013, 16 Attakad villages have been lost to the Fulani militia, and Fulani men are now fully settled with their cattle and families, in Mayit, Agwom, Zakai Gira, Tunga Magwot, Telak, Zakum and Kirim.

Several ECWA churches have been destroyed, along with those belonging to other denominations, and many of our members have become IDPs.

In 2014, several communities in Sanga LGA, were invaded and hundreds of people killed by these armed herdsmen, with no apparent provocation. In an indication of their underlying religious hostility and motivation, churches are usually prime targets.

Today, Fulani occupy Unguwan Dauda, where they have cultivated large farmlands and have erected permanent structures roofed with corrugated zinc. Antor Maisamari in Aboro District, Numana Chiefdom is now occupied by Fulani, and indigenes who survived the attacks have fled the area.

To further buttress the assertion that there is an orchestrated plan to drive our members and other indigenes out of these parts of Southern Kaduna, it appears that the next stage will involve the full take over, Godogodo Chiefdom, in Jema'a LGA. Part of Godogodo town, Ninte, Akwa, Ungwar Anjo, Gada Biyu have been overrun and occupied by the Fulani. Churches in these villages are laid to waste after being burnt.

It is deeply shocking that in the 21 Century, not only are Fulani militia carrying out a campaign of forced displacement and occupation reminiscent of previous centuries , but also thart this is occurring so blatantly under the full gaze of a succession of modern, democratically elected governments.

Even more worrying is the assertion by both the Kaduna State Government and many Fulani groups that 20,000 hectares of land is earmarked for the exclusive use of Fulani as grazing reserves in Sanga LGA. Note that this is in addition to the lands that have already been seized by violence.

While we have always suspected a quest for territorial acquisition motivated the Fulani attacks , the press conference organised by Jema'a Foundation, Miyetti Allah and Mobgal Fulbe Development Association on 7 November 2016 confirmed that Fulani and Hausa Muslims have been behind the ethnic cleansing and destruction of villages and houses of worship.

They claimed they had to do this to entrench their rights to practice Islam, alleging they were being marginalized in Southern Kaduna.

In a statement signed by Abdullahi Hassan Mohammed, Ahmad M. Yandeh and Abdulhamid Musa, the groups also claimed that they were "irked into responding appropriately" in launching the Godogodo violence.

The consequences of "responding appropriately" can be summarized as followed:

1. Ninte Village

Ninte has two ECWA churches and a Baptist Church. On 31 May 2016, and as confirmed by the aforementioned groups, Fulani burnt down the entire village. The two ECWA churches , a pastoruim and two auditoriums were razed. Also, three vehicles, and foodstuffs in barns were set ablaze.

The attackers were not done ; the nearby villages of Unguwan Kafinta, Dangwa were attacked and the residents chased out. The Fulani then herded their cattle to graze on their crops.

Five persons were killed. 298 properties were destroyed

2. Unguwar Anjo

This village has an estimated population of 3,500, and also falls under Godogodo Chiefdom. Between 1 and 2 August, 2016, Fulani carried out an unrestrained attack, leading to the death of Mr Danjuma Tanko and Pastor Luka Adamu of the Redeemed Church. The entire village was burnt. The ECWA and Redeemed churches were burnt. Destroyed inside the church buildings were 450 chairs worth N67,500; two generators worth N60,000, and musical instruments valued at N3 million.

3. Akwa'

In an attack that took place on 2 August 2016, two persons were killed, 20 houses, including churches, were burnt and the village was emptied of its owners.

4. Golgofa

Nine people were killed and the entire town razed during an attack on 2

August 2016.

5. Godogodo town

On 24 September 2016, Fulani militia mounted an attack on Godogodo town, where thousands of people who had already been forcibly displaced from surrounding communities were taking refuge. Seven people were killed.

The next day, an attempt by the militia to re-enter the town was repelled by a combination of local vigilantes, police and the military.

Then on 15 October, as affirmed by Jema'a Foundation, Miyetti Allah and Mobgal Fulbe Development Association, a combination of armed Fulani and local Hausa Muslim residents of Godogodo numbering over 300 laid siege to the town. The killings and arson continued into 16 October unchallenged. By the time it ended : A total of 30 people had been killed;

27,819 had been displaced;
326 were injured, and
326 homes were burnt.

Six ECWA churches and a Baptist Church were burnt The value of property destroyed and looted runs into billions of Naira.

Attacks on Kaninkon Chiefdom

On 25 October 2016, armed Fulani descended on Misisi village, just as soldiers had called the youth and some of the elders for a meeting. The village head and seven others were killed, and 26 houses were burnt.

During an attack on Pasakori, situated around 3km away from Misisi, two people were killed and 16 houses burnt.

Chawai Chiefdom

On 13 November around 3pm, Fulani herdsmen laid siege to Kigam, Kitakum, Unguwan Magaji , Unguwan Rimi and Kizipi, all in Chawai Chiefdom, of Kauru LGA, about 300km east of Kaduna metropolis. Leaving 35 people dead. 120 houses were looted before being destroyed. In Kigam, not a single home is spared, apart from the primary school. All 8 churches in these communities were razed.

The BBC world service reporter was asked question by the presenter about the above incident, the Recent killings in north, southern Kaduna.

The reporter, who from his name is probably a Sunni Muslim Fulani, completely misrepresented the facts.

He said that the crime was committed by cattle rustlers who are hiding in the bush and that the government is dealing with it .

He minimised the crime.

No mention was made that the crime was being committed by Fulani herdsmen and militia and that this has been going on for several years and that many villages have been cleansed and occupied by Fulanis. .

He did not mention that the victims were ethnic minority Christian communities.

He did not mention that the perpetrators are occupying several villages they have cleansed.

I was shocked. I wondered if BBC knows that it is being used as a propagandist medium for northern Nigerian Islamic minded region, who are prosecuting a jihad in Nigeria.

I am alarmed because this is exactly what Sudan did in Darfur. For a long time, the Sudanese Islamic government controlled what was fed to the west about Dafur, until it was very late. North Nigeria seems to be controlling what the world knows about what is happening in Nigeria.

At the same time, the Buhari administration is buying arms. The arms is not for fighting Boko Haram. It is for suppressing the south and ethnically cleansing the north of ethnic Christian communities.

30 November, 2016, the government declared a military operation in East Nigeria, a place where there is no violent protest . It called it operation Python dance.

The Nigerian government flooded the region with combat ready soldiers and mounted road blocks every few kilometres, where soldiers and police subject Igbos to extrusion and humiliating searching.

This is a deliberate attempt to provoke the people and start a massacre. It will be recalled that Buhari threatened that the blood of baboons will flow.

The world must know that there is no more war against Boko Haram in Nigeria and the north who set up Boko Haram are looking for a clever way to wind up the operation in the north and transfer it to the east.

The world must wake up. The Nigerian government under Mohammadu Buhari is committing serious human rights violations and crimes against humanities against Shiite Muslims, Christian ethnic minorities in North Nigeris and against Igbos and Niger region.

If Presudent Buhari is not called to order, to abandon his jihad, Nigeria will become another Syria. I plead with the world to intervene before it is too late.

What does Governor Ortom and all the other victims of this unfolding pogrom have to do for Myetti Allah, Mohammadu Buhari, Nigerian army and police to end this ethnic cleansing?

It is now open secrete that the Fulani herdsmen are sponsored by Myetti Allah, emboldened by president Buhari and protected by Nigerian Army and police.

In a normal country, under the circumstance, Myetti Allah should be charged with treason, for arming a group against innocent people, the police should arresting their members, bringing them to justice and the army should be tracking down Fulani herdsmen to disarm them and protect the people and the government will be explaining its complicity and inaction.

At a time many people are building a united country, president Buhari decided to build an ethnic nation out of Nigeria, by aiding Fulani take over of the country.

But these are not normal times. Nigeria has an abnormal government whose loyalty is to Fulani people.

Today, the innocent blood of Tivs are being shed by Fulani herdsmen and those position to stop it are playing politics.

The same government that sent battle ready soldiers to Abia State to confront unarmed youth protesting the injustices and inhumanity they suffer has refused to confront Fulani herdsmen.

This is a conspiracy by the government, and Fulani Mafia, alias Myetti Allah against the people. The government of Nigeria, Myetti Allah, the police and army have blood in their hands.

The government cannot deny complicity and culpability in this crime against humanity, when it is only interested in preventing reprisal attacks and does nothing to protect the victims.

How can an honest government without ethnic Agenda fail to address the threat and allow the aggressor to retain the capacity and capability to continue the crime?

Nigerian government has been taken over by Fulanis and honest men must now speak out against what is unfolding in Benue State.

The Nigerian government under Mohammadu Buhari is not fit for purpose.

What will it take for Nigerians to realise that people like Buhari have nothing to offer a country like Nigeria?

What we are confronting is a group of people who have ethnic supremacist ideas, have no regard for organised society, and disdain for the rule of law, who are supported by strong interest groups and the government because the president is from their ethnic group.

Nigerians must make it clear that we are prepared to exercise our right to protect ourselves and respond, since Nigerian northern dominated and Islamic army and police are not minded to protect the people

The National Assembly should direct soldiers and policemen from Benue State to go to Benue State to protect the people as no Fulanis in the army or police will be willing to protect the people.

The inspector General of police and army chief should resign immediately or be removed by the National Assembly.

If Nigerians fail to repel this aggression now, it would be impossible, when the Fulanis settle and install their Emirs. What can anybody do to make our people see what is coming?

We can start by standing with Governor Ortom as he speaks truth to power and rallies his people against the an enemy who is determined to kill, subdue and dominate.

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