HURIWA to MACBAN: your threats cannot silence the truth

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*Says it condemns all acts of mass killings including killings of peaceful Fulanis:

The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has blamed the climate of impunity being encouraged by the Federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari for the continuous threats unleashed on the leadership of the civil Rights advocacy group for condemning the atrocities of armed Fulani herdsmen who have received support by some persons parading about as officials of Miyetti Allah CATTLE owners Association.

The group said even the United States of America through numerous reports have recorded that there is official impunity in Nigeria in the current dispensation and that too many people connected to officials of government are getting away with too many crude crimes including mass murders.

HURIWA spoke against the backdrops of series of threatening calls made to our official line each time we condemn the attacks of farmers by armed Fulani herdsmen just as the Rights group is reacting to a public statement by the leadership of the umbrella body of herders known as MACBAN which insisted that it was different from Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and warned the rights group to stop ascribing the actions and comments of the latter to it.

The Rights group recalled MACBAN as noting in a press statement conveyed the position that HURIWA coordinator, Emmanuel Onuwbiko, also recently advised ethnic groups in the country to defend their rights over “terrorism unleashed on the Nigeria space by armed Fulani herdsmen and Miyetti Allah Cattle Owners Association”.

HURIWA recalled that the National Secretary, Baba Othman Ngelzarma, in a statement Friday night stated: “The people HURIWA quoted to have made statements on Ruga have nothing to do with MACBAN and neither did MACBAN say anything to warrant being tagged “Supporter of Terrorism”. It amounts to reckless mischief by a group who ought to know better that their writings have the power to cause genocide. Rwanda is an example on how writers caused the genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in which over a million people were killed.”

HURIWA however restated her determination to continue to call on the central government and the International community to take action to stop the regime of impunity and lawlessness in Nigeria manifested by the failure of the Federal government to arrest, prosecute and punish armed Fulani herdsmen that have unleashed devastating bloodcuddling violence on communities all over Nigeria.

HURIWA is determined to ensure that mass murderers are brought to justice or justice brought to mass murderers and no amount of threats from faceless callers can stop us from defending the fundamental human rights of all Nigerians including peace loving members of the Fulani ETHNIC nationality. We have on many occasions condemed the violence meted out on peace loving Fulani herdsmen. We know it as a fact that not all Fulani herdsmen are armed so we take exception to the false information being bandied about us by MACBAN. HURIWA said in a statement endorsed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko.”

HURIWA stated as follows: ” May we remind the signatory to the media statement attacking HURIWA for condemning the atrocious actions of armed Fulani herdsmen that only a year ago it was reported by a section of the media that Miyetti Allah allegedly revealed the reason why its members unleashed mayhem in some villages of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau state killing nearly 200 innocent and defenceless Nigerians.

HURIWA asked MACBAN thus: ” Where you in another Planet or did you not read in the media some months back that the Chairman of the north central chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Danladi Ciroma, in a statement reportedly condemned the attacks but noted that the attacks were “retaliatory”?

HURIWA further reminded MACBAN that Ciroma allegedly said in the reported statement that no one should expect peace in the areas where about 300 cows were stolen.

HURIWA wishes to refresh the mind of the National secretary of MACBAN who has just attacked us in the media that the following is the statement the media credited to the aforementioned official of MIYETTI ALLAH AND THE STATEMENT HE WAS QUOTED AS SAYING ON THAT VIOLENCE IN PLATEAU STATE ABOUT A YEAR AGO GOES THUS: “These attacks are retaliatory. As much as I don’t support the killing of human being, the truth must be told that those who carried out the attacks must be on revenge mission.There have been recent reports of cow rustling and destruction of farms between Berom farmers and Fulani herdsmen. The people carrying out these criminal activities are well known to the communities but the communities are hiding them….”

HURIWA has therefore asked Nigerians to take note of the threats on the lives of our officials contained in the media statement calling us unprintable names when what we had insisted on is that the government must stop the climate of fear and impunity and punish persons especially armed Fulani herdsmen responsible for the violence all across the country and to declare MIYETTI ALLAH CATTLE OWNERS ASSOCIATION as a terrorist group for supporting the actions of the armed Fulani herdsmen.

“Mind you in all our statements we have always supported those positions with information that are public knowledge and we have always stated that MIYETTI ALLAH CATTLE OWNERS ASSOCIATION for not forcefully condemning the mass murders is a terrorists group and should be declared so. We have equally condemned all kinds of killings whereever they had occurred and so we wonder why some persons will attack us for asking that those who carry out attacks should be punished? Recall too that a leader of Miyetti Allah CATTLE breeder in Benue state Garus Gololo stated too that over 1000 cattles were stolen which is why the Benue killings occurred. We humbly asked MACBAN to openly condemn all attacks targeting farmers carried out by armed Fulani herdsmen and also all killings including the killings of members of the Fulani ETHNIC nationality which we had done and will continue to do”.

HURIWA recalled that Garus Gololo told BBC News Pidgin that over 1000 of their cows were stolen at Nengere when their owners were relocating to Taraba through Nasarawa State just as Gololo said the herdsmen were only defending themselves from thieves.

HURIWA recalled that however,a Fulani socio-cultural association, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, distanced itself from the Benue killings and their perpetrators,labelling them irresponsible elements.

HURIWA said it has nothing against Fulani ETHNIC nationality but is against the violent activities of armed Fulani herdsmen and wondered why anyone for that matter could issue threats just as a lot of phone calls from unknown persons kept harassing us through our official line each night at every point that we make a public statement condemning activities of armed Fulani herdsmen. “Why is Nigeria becoming a dungeon whereby those who advocate for HUMAN RIGHTS are threatened, arrested and jailed and persons who indeed made threats or supported mass killings are roaming about powerfully even within the corridors of power, HURIWA concluded.

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