Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Fulani Herdsmen: Nigerians In UK protest Incessant Killings [Photos+Video]

Nigerians in London, United Kingdom, yesterday protested against the slow response of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to the killings by Fulani herdsmen in Benue State and other parts of Nigeria.
The about 60 protesters marched from the front of the Nigerian High Commission to the office of the British Prime Minister Theresa May at No 10, Downing Street, singing “all we are saying, enough is enough, Buhari must go, the killings must stop. ”
As various cheerleaders took turns to address the crowd, tears flowed freely from most of the women’s cheeks, while some of them fought hard to control theirs. All the speakers blamed Buhari and the National Assembly for not taking a decisive action to end the torture, rape and killings being perpetrated in Benue State by the herdsmen.

The protest which was organised by Mutual Union of Tivs in the United Kingdom (MUTUK) and supported by members of the Nigerian community in the UK, lasted for more than three hours.
It took off in front of the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square, with just about 12 members of MUTUK around 10:30 a.m., with the singing of both the Nigerian national anthem and that of Tiv.
But within minutes, the number of participants nearly tripled as other members of the Nigerian community who had been waiting in front of the Nigerian High Commission – about five minutes’ walk from Trafalgar Square – came over to the national gallery.
After a short prayer and a minute silence in memory of those killed in Benue, the demonstrators proceeded to the front of the commission where many others had also been waiting.
With nationalistic adrenaline flowing in many veins and solidarity songs, the crowd defied the freezing weather and blocked the main entrance of the High Commission.
The various speakers took to the microphone to condemn President Buhari, Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the Inspector General of Police and the National Assembly. The bulk of the speeches and blame were on Buhari, who was accused of having “Fulanisation” and “Islamisation” agendas.
Those who addressed the crowd included MUTUK’s Shadrach Iornem and Chidi Cali of the Concerned Nigerians in the United Kingdom. Iornem said President Buhari should either stop the killings or resign.
In response to chants of “who are killing our children?” “Who’s killing our women?” “Who’s slaughtering our sons?” and “Who’s killing Nigerians?” the crowd shouted Buhari’s name to each, until men of the Metropolitan Police asked them to move to the opposite side of the commission, where the protest continued.
Photos: Nigerians in London protest over Fulani herdsmen killings

Chants of “Buhari, blood on your hands” and “Buhari must go” continued till 12:11 p.m., when the crowd then started the journey to No 10, Downing Street, about 15 minutes’ walk.
As the protest became a mobile one, the songs and chants continued all the way to the prime minister’s office where officers of MUTUK delivered a letter seeking the intervention of the British government and the international community to representatives of Mrs. May.
As the crowd turned heads and many onlookers and tourists made inquiries, the demonstrators also chanted:“Buhari belongs to herdsmen. We say no to genocide. All we are saying, no more killings, stop Benue killings.”
While the leaders went inside No 10, others continued the protest till they returned to inform their fellow Nigerians that there would be a response from the British government at a later date.
MUTUK’s Secretary General, Gillian Sasvari, told The Guardian that “the killings is not just a Tiv problem, it is a Nigerian problem.“
Cali said he was not surprised, having campaigned against Buhari’s candidacy during the 2015 elections. “I don’t hate the man or his policies, but Buhari belongs to the past.”
Bamidele Soyoye of DUREN (Detach Unite, to Realign Nigeria) said: “ We want Buhari to say where he stands. The whole world must know this is happening. The demonstration is not about Benue, they want emirs everywhere, they want to colonise us. The government has no business with cattle rearing. They want to Fulanis us. We say no to Fulanisation of Nigeria.”
President of itshekuri Congress in UK, Dr. Emmanuel Towuaghantse said “the killings have to stop.”
Meanwhile, the apex Igbo socio –cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has criticized the ten-man committee set up by the Federal Government on the Fulani herdsmen-farmers’ clash as wrong.
President General of the organization, Chief Nnia Nwodon in a statement
yesterday, said that committee headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would not bring solution to the festering ugly development.
Nwodo, who wondered how the Federal Government could set up a panel to reconcile “murderers with the murdered”, said it was an indication that the government was not serious with finding lasting solution to the
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Nwodo said pronouncements by the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) were evidence that they were culpable in the carnage across the country. He wondered why they were not arrested and prosecuted instead of setting up a committee.
According to the Igbo leaders, the setting up of the committee is a usurpation of the responsibility of the law courts where such cases of murder should rightly be decided, instead of turning them into mere communal clashes which further encourages the Fulani herdsmen.
Dozens of people on Monday embarked on a protest at Trafalgar Square, London, condemning the incessant killing of innocent Nigerians by suspected Fulani herdsmen in various parts of Nigeria.
The protest was convened by Mutual Union of Tivs in the United Kingdom (MUTUK) and was supported by members of the Nigerian community in the United Kingdom.
The protesters while chanting, ”Buhari, no more killing,” expressed disappointment on the silence of the Nigerian government.
They were seen holding placards with inscriptions like “Nigerian Government stop your silence on Fulani herdsmen’ ‘Blood ‘Nigeria life matters,’ ‘Stop killing Nigerians, Enough is Enough.”
Speaking during the protest, Dr. Kohol Shadrach Iornem, the Vice President of MUTUK, who was the convener of the protest, state that it was high time President Muhammadu Buhari offered a lasting solution to the killing of innocent people in Benue State.
He stated, “we are here today because of the current problems we are facing in Nigeria in the hands of the Fulani herdsmen who have continued to massacre our children, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers.
“We are here because our people back at home have done everything within the law to bring an end to this ethnic cleansing. Our people back at home in Benue State have protested, they have held press conferences, they held meetings with community leaders to discuss the solution to these attacks, they have passed the anti-open grazing bill.
“Our leaders back at home have even visited President Muhammadu Buhari to plead with him to take decisive actions. It is sad that immediately after their visit, the Fulani herdsmen terror group killed at least 6 persons in the same Guma and Logo Local Governments where over 70 people were initially massacred and given state burial.
“We believe the international community does not know about the current genocide in Nigeria and that is there has been no reaction from them. We are here today to let the British Government know about this terror group, who has killed more Nigerians than the Boko Haram.
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“It is the responsibility of any government to protect the lives and properties of its citizens and the government have failed us in this regard. In developed countries, the President ought to have tendered his resignation for failing the people who elected him. He is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not president of a particular ethnic group.
“This is just the beginning. If President Muhamadu Buhari does not take immediate action to address the brutal killings of our defenceless people, Nigerians will come back here again. Enough is Enough!”
Dr Iornem on behalf of MUTUK submitted a copy of the petition to the High Commissioner, represented by Head of Chancery, Dr Niyi Ojo.
The request, which Dr Iornem made on behalf of MUTUK to the Prime Minister was for the British Government to:
“Intervene in this systematic ethnic cleansing because our security forces have been compromised – an appeal to the British Government on behalf of our defenceless fellow Nigerians is a desperate plea.
“Evoke the necessary international mechanisms to establish the veracity of the substance of this petition.
“Highlight the problems and humanitarian needs of the displaced populations, particularly women, children and the aged and support for voluntary organisations to provide assistance through self-help,” he said.
The group also requested the Federal Government as a matter of national security, to take the necessary steps to identify and disarm the Fulani herders and their accomplices and provide protection for the victims.
It also called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to provide financial compensation to victims of the unwarranted attacks whose livelihoods have been obliterated by the Fulani herders.
“We ask the Federal Government of Nigeria to consider implementing the “anti-open grazing bill” all Nigerian state. Provide advice to the Federal Government of Nigeria on finding ways to deal with the political and economic dimensions of pastoralism by reducing conflict with farming communities.
“The government should also understand that pastoral nomadism is no longer practicable in this era of rapid population growth and climate change.
“The Nigeria government and the international counter-terrorism coalition should investigate the possible link between the Fulani terrorists and Boko Haram insurgency and the inflow of illicit arms from failed states in the African sub-region, with emphasis on the nexus with Libya and Niger,” he added.
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Dr Iornem, who briefed newsmen shortly after the exercise, denied being paid by any political leader to champion the protest.
He added, “Do you truly believe people will be paid to protest against those barbaric killings? Any right thinking individual that sees those disturbing images and videos of the gruesome murders and refuses to speak against it, that person is also part of the problem. Instead of those vested with powers to take immediate actions to address the barbaric killings, they are busy carrying out senseless propaganda.”

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