Terrorist herdsmen have declared war on Nigeria. It's time for President Buhari to fulfill his campaign promise by putting a stop to the killings.
President Buhari’s condolence messages will no longer assuage or suffice. The full weight of the nation’s security forces should be brought to bear on these murderers and cowards without further delay.
On Tuesday, April 24, 2018, killer herdsmen invaded Ayar-Mbalom village of Benue State, made for a Catholic church where worshipers had converged to bury a loved one, and gunned down two priests and some 17 worshipers.
On Thursday, April 26, 2018, killer herdsmen invaded another church in Logo local government area of Benue state and killed 7. A primary school was also razed by the rampaging herders.
In two days, herdsmen killed over 20 persons in one State. Herdsmen have probably murdered some 500 persons since the turn of the year. It's a jarring, unacceptable state of affairs.
In the wake of recent herdsmen attacks, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) called on President Buhari to tender his resignation.
In a communique signed by CBCN's president, Most Rev. Augustine Akubeze and secretary, Most Rev. Camillus Umoh, on Thursday, April 26, 2018, the CBCN said:
“Since the President, who appointed the heads of the nation's security agencies has refused to caution them even in the face of the chaos and barbarity into which our country has been plunged, we are left with no choice but to conclude that they are acting a script that he approves of.
"If the President cannot keep our country safe, then he automatically loses the trust of the citizens.
"He should no longer continue to preside over the killing fields and mass graveyard that our country has become.
“Repeated calls from us and many other Nigerians on the President to take very drastic and urgent steps to reverse this ugly tragedy that threatens the foundation of our collective existence and unity as a nation have fallen on deaf ears.
"It is clear to the nation that he has failed in his primary duty of protecting the lives of the Nigerian citizens. Whether this failure is due to inability to perform or lack of political will, it is time for him to choose the part of honour and consider stepping aside to save the nation from total collapse."
While we won’t go as far as asking the president to resign on the heels of incessant killings by herdsmen in Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Kaduna, Nasarawa and elsewhere, the statement from the Catholic bishops accusing Buhari of not taking “very drastic and urgent steps to reverse this ugly tragedy that threatens the foundation of our collective existence”, is right on the money.
The primary purpose of government is to secure the people. Buhari has to do more than direct a recalcitrant Inspector General of Police to relocate to the middle belt. At the moment, Nigeria is at war with killer herdsmen or invaders from Libya (or wherever).
When a group of brigands take to killing civilians on a whim, it becomes clear that the rules of engagement should no longer apply.
What is required in the middle belt and Benue trough is a deployment of soldiers around border towns and communities. What is needed to tame the killers is an all guns blazing, bare-knuckled approach. Boots on the ground, if you would.
These killings have been going on for far too long for the presidency not to have a handle on things.
There is a school of thought that says these killers aren’t even pastoralists in the truest sense of that occupation. Which implies that we now have another insurgency on our hands aside the Boko Haram menace. We have to nip this madness in the bud before it becomes full blown.
I expect Buhari to deal with these herders the same way he’s been dealing with Boko Haram. We are past the stage of pretending that these killers aren’t terrorists. They are. We are past the stage of handling these herdsmen crisis with kid gloves or calling the herders some of us. They are not.
These herders are bloody murderers. They are the very scums of the earth!! They are blood thirsty scoundrels and nihilists.
President Buhari swore to protect the people of the federal republic of Nigeria. Well, at the moment, he’s doing a very bad job of that and he hasn't got that much time left to fix this.
Dear President Buhari, This.Is.War. Deal with it.