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Stop Genocide Killings by Herdsmen Now!

Current happenings in the nation as demonstrated by the activities of criminal activities of Niger Delta militants and herdsmen have led to the near collapse of the Nigerian economy and led to several thousands of death across the nation. More worrying is the massive killings by suspected herdsmen that have decimated communities and turned citizens into Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in their native land.  It is on the basis of that resurgent killings by suspected herdsmen in some sections of the country that have cast gloom on prospects for peace in troubled areas, mostly found in North-central zone of the country and the Southern part of Kaduna State. There is no doubt that the continuous killings have led to apprehension and render farming communal living an endanger vocation.

Since the resurgence of these killings, the potential for hunger has led to fears expressed in some quarters that the invasion of these farming communities in the states of Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa and Niger, among others, pose a grave threat to life and render the populace insecure in the face of these murders. In the face of incapacity by the military to stave off further genocidal killings, security agencies that are mandated to ensure the security of lives have been called upon to intervene in the tragic events.

In the past, President Muhammadu Buhari has been engaged in launching military operations aimed at tackling cattle rustling in some North-western states of the country. These are commendable efforts by the government, and such military operations can be replicated in states that have suffered and still suffering the pangs of attacks from suspected herdsmen. We believe the current government places much premium on the lives of people and cannot spare any effort aimed at combating these killings and contain the expansion of the frontiers of insecurity in the country.

The security of any country is hinged on a collective resolve and not a preserve for an exclusive few. The need to return peace to these troubled areas can only be achieved through the collaboration of all stakeholders. The need to engage the traditional institution and the government in achieving peace is imperative. We cannot afford a situation where animosity held across generations is allowed to fester and provide a potential danger for the future.

In this direction, we advise the Federal Government to move fast and launch military operations in various states suffering from herdsmen killings in order to tackle the spate of genocide that has become the tragic trait of these troubled states. As Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, noted, herdsmen found to be terrorizing citizens should be treated as criminals. Peace efforts aimed at encouraging tension-free co-existence should be encouraged between herdsmen and native communities. President Buhari should also be at the vanguard of tackling these killings, as such tensions and killings have become an ill wind that blows no one any good.

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