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How Buhari’s support for Fulani could plunge Nigeria into Darfur and Rwanda

Editor’s note: The wave of Fulani herdsmen attacks across Nigeria has caused panic among Nigerians who are advising President Muhammadu Buhari to address the issue.

Emeka Umeagbalasi, board chairman of the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, explains how Buhari’s silent support for Fulani may plunge Nigeria into Darfur and Rwanda.


Hundreds have been killed in Fulani assaults on farming villages

Who are the Janjaweed?

The Janjaweed are a militia that operates in Darfur, Western Sudan, and Eastern Chad. Using the United Nations definition, the Janjaweed comprised Sudanese Arab tribes, the core of whom are from the Abbala (camel herder) background with significant recruitment from the Baggara (cattle herder) people(source: Wikipedia 2016). Since 2003, the Janjaweed has been a major player or party in the bloody conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan; fighting the Sudanese Liberation Movement/Army and the Justice and Equality Movement. The violent conflict killed 200,000-400,000 civilians between 2003 and 2007 with hundreds of thousands of others maimed and millions of others displaced. In 2008, the United States declared the killings in Dafur as genocide and attempts to wipe out African tribes of Darfur in Sudan. The Sudanese Janjaweed is commanded by Sheikh Musa Hilal; named in 2004 by the US State Department as one of the leading Janjaweed commanders and genocide criminals in Darfur Sudan.

The worst of it all is that the Janjaweed was and is still a proxy armed opposition group fully backed by the rogue Government of Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who has riotously ruled Sudan since 1989 (27 years).

Replication of the Janjaweed disastrous episode in Nigeria

The historical demystification and analysis above is to bring to the fore the ongoing replication of the Janjaweed disastrous episode in Nigeria where the country’s spy or secret police (DSS) has lately exposed the government’s preferential treatment of a section of the country, which the DSS referred to as “Hausa-Fulani citizens” as well as treatment of those referred to as “Fulani Herdsmen” as the “untouchables”. Till date, the Federal government of Muhammadu Buhari and its security forces have not stopped condoning, aiding and abetting the atrocities of the Fulani terror group (erroneously called “Fulani herdsmen”). Most calamitous of such atrocities is ceaseless massacring and abduction of innocent Nigerians; mostly of Christian population and mainly of rural background. Most, if not all those behind the Fulani terror atrocities in Nigeria are still on the prowl; with none under diligent and comprehensive criminal investigations in the country or any part thereof; not to talk of prosecution.

The recent investigation carried out by the public security and safety department of Intersociety clearly demystifies the pattern of violence and its application by Nigeria’s newest Janjaweed (Fulani terrorists).The summary of the investigation shows that there exists a strike force or well-coordinated military wing, which is well trained and better armed; with proxy and illicit supplied small arms.

READ ALSO: Shocking new Fulani herdsmen outrage revealed

It further discloses that the Fulani herdsmen as seen by ordinary Nigerians on daily basis with their herds of cattle do not, by themselves, usually carry out the killing, massacring and abduction of their innocent preys; but they provide basic intelligence, surveillance coverage and bases for their military wing to unleash their mayhem on unarmed and innocent citizens. That is to say that as they take their herds of cattle into the rain forests and southern communities; they identify their potential preys; encircle them and notify their military wing through well established and coordinated communication modes. This basic intelligence, identification of their potential preys and bases are mostly done in the daytime; while armory and personnel movements and attacks are mostly carried out at night and at hours of the blue law. Hit and retreat characterizes their attacks and their weapon (small arms) depots and movements are clearly and tactically mapped out and made highly secretive.

These, at times, are known to their kinsmen in the country’s security forces, who also aid and abet; particularly in securitization areas where they are at helm of operational affairs. Sometimes security forces openly aid and abet the well-coordinated massacre of unarmed and innocent Christian dwellers by Fulani terrorists (i.e. Agatu massacre).

Buhari sad

President Muhammadu Buhari

The motive behind this well-coordinated and carefully orchestrated violence is agro-ethnic and politico-religious. We also understand that an executive sponsored or proxy bill is before the National Assembly, seeking to make it mandatory or by fire by force for grazing grounds to be created in every State for the Fulani Herdsmen and their terror militancy. Executively speaking, the Governors of the country’s 36 States particularly those of the rain forests have reportedly been given a matching order by the presidency to source for lands and earmark them for “Fulani herdsmen”.

With these and more, the government of Muhammadu Buhari can never escape individual and vicarious liabilities for the atrocities of the murderous and butchering ethno-religious fundamentalist group (Fulani Janjaweed).

The Fulani terror group; Nigeria’s newest Janjaweed, has continuously spread its terror to major rain forest parts of Nigeria and other southern communities, targeting Christian population, who are mainly rural farmers. The terror group is now the world’s fourth most deadly terror group, according to the Global Terror Watch Index (GTWI). In 2014 alone, according to GTWI, it killed at least 1,229 unarmed citizens and in seven months of 2015 (January-July), it killed 631 unarmed civilians and between June 2015 and April 2016, it has killed over 900 unarmed civilians. In 2010, it stormed Dogo na Hauwa community in Plateau State and massacred over 500 mostly rural Christian farmers. Just recently, hundreds of mostly rural Christians in Agatu area of Benue state were slaughtered by the Janjaweed.

READ ALSO: Police avert ethnic crisis as popular Fulani herdsman killed

Till date, the terror group’s killing spree is yet to be abated or check-mated by Nigerian authorities. Killing of unarmed villagers and abduction of Christian missionaries by the terror group have continued in Enugu, Benue, Delta, etc. In all these, the Federal Government of Nigeria, led by Gen Muhammadu Buhari has notoriously exhibited its gross “unwillingness and inability” to tame the scourge. As a matter of fact, the Fulani Terror Group is now a militia arm of the Buhari administration.

The unfolding drama over the highly contentious claims by the national directorate of the DSS that “five Hausa-Fulani citizens were recently discovered to have been abducted, murdered and shallowly buried by IPOB in Umuanyi Forests in Isiukwuato LGA of Abia state, alongside other indiscriminate shallow graves containing 55 dead bodies”; is a clear attestation to the foregoing. The government of Abia state has issued a categorical statement, debunking the claims and further informed that “neither the state DSS, nor the state police command or army heard and has such report”.

With this strong denial, the onus is now on the national directorate of DSS to prove to all Nigerians and members of the international community, satisfactorily, “where, when and how 55 dead bodies including “five Hausa-Fulani citizens” were abducted, murdered and shallowly buried by IPOB in Umuanyi Forests in Isiukwuato LGA of Abia state”. The DSS bogus claims must not be allowed to be swept under the carpet. Such a statement coming from the country’s secret police, which it influenced to be aired on a number of strategic international audio, audio-visual and tabloid media like the Press TV, Aljazeera, etc; has the capacity of plunging Nigeria into unquenchable ethno-religious genocide and butcheries.

Anniversary of the Rwandan genocide

This month (April) marks the 22nd anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide; perpetrated by non-State actors backed by government with deployment of instruments of hate speech, including a privately run radio station that constantly promoted a genocide jingle called “operation nettoyer” (operation clean up Tutsis). The Tutsis were labeled “cockroaches” and massacred in their hundreds of thousands within three months. The root cause of the butcheries and genocide in Rwanda and to a large extent, in Burundi also rests on agro-ethnicity; with Tutsis as nomads and educated and Hutus as farmers with limited education. The rift became age-long following its ceaseless fueling by the country’s colonial and post-colonial political and military actors.

The Fulani herdsmen and their military wing (Fulani terrorists) in Nigeria, fully backed by the government of Buhari have become the Sudanese Janjaweed and the Rwandan Banyamulenges; all supported and backed by the governments of the two countries (Rwandan under Gen Juvenile Habriyarimana-July 5, 1973 – April 6, 1994). Gen Habyarimana was assassinated in office during the first day of genocide on April 6, 1994 by rebels of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). The RPF is still in power in Rwanda till date.

READ ALSO: Good news! DSS makes huge success, nabs notorious Boko Haram leader

It is our stern warning that genocide and widespread butcheries are steadily looming in Nigeria and the menace of Nigeria’s newest Janjaweed; condoned and aided by the government of Buhari, has risen to an apogee. The government of Gen Muhammadu Buhari must disarm and stop aiding and abetting the military wing of the Fulani herdsmen or appears to be doing same before it is too late. Citizens traditionally and excusably take up arms or resort to dangerous self-help whenever they see or perceive government to be incapable, unable, and unwilling to protect their security, safety and fundamental liberties from malicious and criminal state and non-state actors.

This article expresses the authors’ opinion only. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of or its editors. Your own opinion articles are welcome at [email protected] — drop an email telling us what you want to write about and why. 

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