A Non-Governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has told President Muhammadu Buhari to blame himself and not the media for the killings in parts of the federation.
It said the “prevarication and policy ambivalence of President Buhari” on the deadly attacks by armed herdsmen on famers accounted for the spike in the violence that gripped the land and not the “professional job of reporting the killings by the media.”
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA asked the president to appreciate the enormity of the violence and view the killings as senseless acts of terrorism and not mere farmers-herders.
It reminded Buhari that herdsmen had also gunned down over 50 armed security forces, a development, the group noted should have informed his government of the urgency to take decisive steps to curb the menace.
The organisation, which spoke against the backdrop of the recent remarks by the president in China that the media misrepresented facts regarding the attacks, insisted that the current administration had continued to treat the grave national security threat posed by the nomads as mere misunderstanding.
HURIWA blamed the president for allegedly “elevating his ethno-religious sentiments above national interest through his government’s seeming failure to declare the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) a terrorist organisation.”
It said: “A government that hurriedly branded a totally unarmed members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terror group has so far refused to brand the killers of over 6000 Nigerians and over 50 armed security operatives as terrorist group and now the president is crying foul against the media when he should situate the blame properly within his office for failing to act in line with the tenets of rule of law.
“We find it unbelievably shocking that President Buhari, who is a Fulani and a Muslim, has decidedly appointed an all-Fulani/Hausa Muslim-dominated national security team and has failed to declare armed herdsmen as terrorists but has continued to provide incoherent defence for the mindless acts of violence by the herders.”
The group added: “May we once more ask the president to read the text of his constitutional oath of office to realise that his soft handling of the serious threats posed by the activities of the armed herdsmen constitute a breach of the law which is tantamount to impeachable offences.”