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Fulani Herdsmen US Congressman asks Buhari to speak up against group

The Congressman said that the killings will get worse as the 2019 elections draw near, if nothing is done to curb it.

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A group known as Voice from the East (VEAST), has issued an ultimatum to Fulani herdsmen in the South-East and parts of Delta state. play

Gun-wielding herdsmen on the prowl across Nigeria

(Guardian Nigeria )

A United States Congressman and senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Chris Smith has urged President Buhari to speak up against the herdsmen killings in various states across Nigeria.

Smith also expressed displeasure over the nonchalant attitude of the Nigerian government on the issue.

The Congressman said that the killings will get worse as the 2019 elections draw near, if nothing is done to curb it.

Smith said this when he received the Annual Report of the State Department’s annual International Religious Freedom Report, according to Tribune.

Calls for US action in Nigeria

The congressman also called on the United States government to take a more direct action in Nigeria, saying that religious freedom is under siege across the world.

He said “Religious freedom is under siege globally, challenging US interests. It is no coincidence that the worst violators of religious freedom globally are also the biggest threats to our nation—those who wish to do Americans the most harm, and those who most want to tear down the pillars of democratic societies.

“Thus, a robust religious freedom diplomacy not only reflects American values, but advances US national security interests. It seems the Administration understands these facts, I look forward to working working with them on this critical issue.”

We are watching

Smith also said that the US is watching the happenings in Nigeria with keen interest.

He said that Buhari’s government has consistently shown no serious interest in the alleged killing of Christian farmers by herdsmen.

According to him, “Congress is watching the situation in Nigeria with growing concern, as the Nigerian government there appears too often to be indifferent to attacks by Fulani herdsmen on predominantly Christian farmers.

ALSO READ: US President says killing of Christians in Nigeria is unacceptable

”The confluence of religious, ethnic, economic and political tensions is only likely to be exacerbated in the lead-up to elections next year unless President Muhammadu Buhari speaks out with a clear voice condemning the herdsmen attacks. We grieve with the families of those killed, including those of two priests and 17 worshippers who were buried just last week following an attack by herdsmen in Benue state in April.”

Nigerian herdsmen don't have rifles

Meanwhile, President Buhari, during his meeting with President Donald Trump in the US on Monday, April 30, 2018, said herdsmen in Nigeria only carry sticks and occasionally machetes to cut foliage for their cattle and not AK-47 rifles.

Buhari however blamed the killings in Nigeria on the fighters of late Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, whom he said fled to West African countries after his death.

Trump also made it known to the Nigerian President that the killing of Christians in Nigeria is unacceptable.

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