Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) have yesterday condemned Monday’s attack on Ukpabi Nimbo Community in Enugu State, describing it as most unfortunate and barbaric.
The ACF in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim, commiserated with the government and people of Enugu State “over this unfortunate ugly incident.”
According to Premium Times, it called on security agencies to unmask the perpetrators of the heinous attacks, so as to end current “dangerous generalisation” of Fulani herdsmen as responsible for the attacks.
“Nigeria cannot afford to graduate from Boko Haram insurgency to an unwarranted attack by unknown gunmen alleged to be Fulani herdsmen.
“The traditional Fulani nomads have coexisted peacefully with their host communities and have been grazing their cattle for decades all over Nigeria without any such attacks.
“ACF is therefore disturbed and seriously concerned with this recent development.
“Criminals hiding under whatever guise and committing heinous crimes against innocent people and the state should be treated as such and in accordance with the law,” it stated.
Also, MACBAN called on all herdsmen to be law abiding and steer clear of any move by any group to rope them into attack on peaceful communities.
The group expressed shock on the recent killings in Enugu, allegedly committed by herdsmen.
In a statement yesterday signed by its National Secretary, Baba Othman Ngelzarma, MACBAN said it was terrified, adding that these heinous acts from whomever were condemnable and reprehensible.
“Short of shielding anybody or group of people or absolving the so-call herdsmen, it is imperative and incumbent upon the authorities especially security agencies to look into these pathetic developments beyond appearances, stereotyping and profiling,” the group said.
According to the association, widespread attacks of these sorts and the quick apportioning of blame on the herdsmen without concrete proofs, smacks of a possible diabolical grand design by some hidden vested interest in the country or beyond, who are bent on fomenting trouble and setting one ethnic tribe or region against another.
The association also called for vigilance while exploring all avenues to come to grips with the smokescreen embedded in this unfortunate development.