The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has told the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) that Fulani herdsmen and militias engaged in a coordinated genocide across the country.
In a statement signed Thursday by Yinka Odumakin, South-west; Prof. Chigozie Ogbu, South-east; Senator Bassey Henshaw, South -south and Dr. Isuwa Dogo, Middle Belt, the leaders accused the ACF of assaulting the sensibilities of Nigerians by pretending that the herdsmen were not responsible for the attacks across the country.
The stated argued that the “level of insensitivity being displayed by the ACF on the serial crimes against humanity being carried out by their kinsmen shows clearly they are a group who think only about themselves while ignoring the interests of other citizens they jokingly refer to as ‘fellow Nigerians’”
According to the SMBLF, internationally-quoted figures revealed that about 30,000 Nigerians have been killed in the last four years by Fulani herdsmen/militia, “with not a soul convicted even when we hear of people being charged to court for killing cows under this administration.”
The leaders insisted that it is “childlike” for ACF to blame Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum for the activities of these marauders bearing testimonies from victims on daily basis.
“As late as yesterday (Wednesday), there was kidnap on Lagos -Ibadan road during which the son of the CMD (Chief Medical Director) of Lafia Hospital in Ibadan, Dr. Oladopupo Sule, and two staffers were kidnapped. This has been the common thread in many of the kidnappings in recent time in many communities.
“Instead of ACF and their ilk showing empathy with the victims as humanity demands and contribute to finding ways to end the menace, it is only insults that flow from their mouths.
“How can any reasonable person say the identity of criminals as identified by victims, being named simply because we have a Fulani president? We had thought it would be sensible to ask the Fulani president to use the security agencies to pursue the criminals and get them arrested. We would not mind apologising if that is done and those terrorising us are found not to be of Fulani extraction.
“But instead of doing that the ‘Fulani Presidency’ (apology to ACF) has been giving excuses on the killings and unwilling to apprehend the criminals. We must let ACF know that the lives of our people mean so much to us that we cannot engage in sinful silence when they are being wasted.
“ACF would do well to appeal to these criminals to desist from their acts if they still want us to continue to live together in the same country. We equally observed their jejune response to former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s observations on the state of the country after their several days of ‘studying’ his intervention.
“That all they could come up with was abusing Obasanjo shows the slippery ground upon which they are standing. We want them to know that Obasanjo spoke the minds of all Nigerians who are not part of or endorsers of the genocide going on .
“The reason why the ACF cannot see the valid points he raised is that Nigeria to them is just Arewaland and the votes spread the constitution requires from other parts of the country.
“If the federal government listens to ACF instead of acting to allay the fears on complaints about obvious ‘Northernisation’ and ‘Fulanisation’ agenda, it would mean the plot to destroy this country has official seal,” the leaders explained.