IN what could be seen as another calculated maneuver from growing spate of killings perpetrated by the Fulani Herdsmen under his administrations over the last one year, President Muhammadu Buhari, in his democracy speech read to Nigerians on May 29, 2016, has refused to condemn attack carried out by the Fulani cattle rearers.
This is against the backdrop of casualty figure which is put at around 600 Nigerians killed so far by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
Based on a recent report conducted by Punch Newspaper, about 525 people, have been killed by the nomadic cattle rearers between May 29, 2015 and May 29, 2016, with thousands of people including women and children, recorded to have sustained various degrees of injuries from the reported cases of attacks.
Other unconfirmed figures however shows that the casualty figures associated with Fulani herdsmen attacks has risen to around 700 people killed.
The first of such attack was recorded in June 2015 where 97 persons were confirmed killed by the marauders ; September recorded three; October, 18; November, 22; December, 28; February 2016, 300; April 2016, 55; and May 2016, two.
According to Punch Investigation, in December 2015, no fewer than 22 persons were reportedly killed when suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked Kwata in Jos South Local government area of Plateau State.
In February 2016, suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked a village in Agatu, Benue State, reportedly killing at least 300 persons. The attack has been described as one of the worst ever witnessed in the series of attacks by Fulani herdsmen.
In April, 2016, at least 40 persons were also reportedly killed when suspected herdsmen attacked Nimbo in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State.
About seven villages in Nimbo including Ugwuijoro, Ekwuru, Ebor, Umuome and Ugwuachara were among the areas attacked. In the same month, suspected Fulani herdsmen also attacked Dori and Mesuma villages in Gashaka Local Government Area of Taraba State, killing at more than 40 people in this communities.
One of the most recent attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen occurred on Friday, May 20, 2016, when two persons were killed and six others injured following an attack on Oke Ako in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
The Editorials however discovered that despite the growing figure, which keep growing unabated, President Buhari has continued to maintain silence on the danger posed by these individuals.
In the analysis of his May 29 speech, the Presidents takes issues relating to the cost of fertilizers, pesticides and the absence of extension services, as more important that the lives lost to the invasion of the Fulani herdsmen on the innocent farmers, whose farms are always attacked for their refusal to allow them access to use their farmland for grazing their cattle.
According to President Buhari, Farmers in the country tell me that they are worried about the cost of fertilizers, pesticides and the absence of extension services. Without acknowledging the invasion as key to their sustainability.
Besides attack on farmers, in the highlight of the security situation in the country, President Buhari is more concerned about some of the recent spate of attacks by militants disrupting oil and power installations than the one carried out by the Fulani herdsmen.
He said that the militants and vandals are testing the government’s resolve. According to him, the government shall apprehend the perpetrators and their sponsors and bring them to justice.
While efforts of the government to curbing the activities of insurgents is commendable, it would be appropriate for him to also speak out on the attacks on farmers.
His speech condemning the attack would have demonstrated that he is not in support of the herdsmen who many have assumed to be working for the northern elites who owns some of the cows.
Writen by Oredola Adeola