The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has expressed concern over persistent violence in parts of Nigeria.
The UN chief said this in a statement by his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, on Tuesday.
He was reacting to the attacks recorded in Gwaska village in Kaduna State.
The statement read, “The Secretary-General strongly condemns the attack on May 5, 2018
in Gwaska village, Kaduna State, north-western Nigeria,
which resulted in scores of casualties.
“The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the bereaved families
and to the government and people of Nigeria,
and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured.
“The Secretary-General calls for those responsible for this attack to
be swiftly brought to justice.
“The Secretary-General also expresses his continued concern over the persisting violence
and urges all actors to work together to bring peace and stability to the country.”
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party,
Uche Secondus, had sent a petition to Guterres accusing
President Muhammadu Buhari of human rights violation.
Secondus had in the petition also accused Buhari of allegedly being behind the spate
of herdsmen and farmers clashes in the Middle Belt of Nigeria.
Nigeria degenerating into a failed state –PFN
Also, the National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria,
Dr. Felix Omobude, on Tuesday bemoaned the spate of violence in the country,
adding that Nigeria was “degenerating into a failed state.”
Omobude lamented that the killing of unsuspecting Nigerians by armed herdsmen and other
criminals had gone unabated such that it had become a daily affair.
The PFN president spoke during an interview with journalists in Benin, the Edo State capital.
He said, “There is hardly any day that you do not hear of bloodshed, killings either by
Boko Haram, through suicide bombing, or herdsmen killings across the country.
The PFN is worried as Nigeria is degenerating into a failed state.
“Whereas we have a government in office,
it appears that this situation is overwhelming our security forces.”
The cleric, who is also the founder of the New Covenant Gospel Church,
called on government at all levels to ensure the safety and security of Nigerians,
irrespective of their ethnicity or religion.
Omobude said, “We hold the current administration to their campaign promises of
change for the better. We call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and
his government and the ruling party to take a look at the promises made
to Nigerians and make every effort to fulfil them.”
The PFN president faulted the claim by President Buhari that those responsible
for the killings were not herdsmen but fighters who had infiltrated the country from outside.
He also described the suspected herdsmen responsible for the killings in the country as terrorists.
Omobude said, “We are amazed that our President can announce that in the UK and the US
and has not said it at home. But even if that was the truth,
if someone is using my name to perpetrate evil,
I should fight it and stop him from doing so.
“So, if these people (herdsmen) are coming from outside,
this is the government’s responsibility to check the borders and fish them out.
It is not my responsibility. It (government) should do the needful.”
He said, “Honestly, whatever language you use to describe their activity,
it all points to terrorism. What do you say? People go out and say that they are cattle
rearers only to spring out and bring AK47 rifles, kill owners of the farm, rape their
wives and disappear into the thin air. So, it is terrorism.”
The cleric, therefore, called on the President to take urgent steps to
address the insecurity in the country.
When asked if the President had not done enough to check the state insecurity,
the PFN president said, “I will leave that to Nigerians to decide.
What the PFN is saying is that it is the responsibility of government to safeguard the people.
So, if it were enough, we would not have been crying.
“The cry is all over the place, across party lines.
When we are dealing with this issue, we should not be thinking about parties.
“We want it stopped; it does not really matter to us which party is ruling.
We want good government; we want peace and security for all Nigerians.”
Wake up, Northern Christian elders tell Buhari
Meanwhile, the Northern Christian Elders Forum on Tuesday advised the
Federal Government to seek help from the international community because
it appeared that the intelligence network in Nigeria had broken down.
The government, it said, should “stop this blame game that has continued to be the
order of the day” and put on its war shoes to defend lives and property of citizens.
The Public Relations Officer of NOCEF, Mr. Sunday Oibe, who stated this in an interview with
The PUNCH in Jos, said the government of President Buhari should
“wake up from sleep and stop the killings.”
He was reacting to continuous killing of persons by suspected armed militants in
Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna.
According to Oibe, who is also the Secretary-General of the Christian Association of Nigeria,
Northern Zone, the country cannot lead a life of killings “because even in animal kingdom,
they don’t destroy themselves like that.”
He said, “We condemn the barbaric destruction of lives of Nigerians in Birnin Gwari,
in one of the Local Government Areas in Kaduna State.
We also express our condolences to the families of the victims. But most seriously,
we are mandating the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to rise up to its task
because the primary duty of a responsible government is to protect
lives and property of the citizenry.
“What happened to our intelligent network? Is it that our intelligence network has broken down?
The answer is yes and if so, the Federal Government should seek help from somewhere.
Why has the lives of Nigerians continued to be wasted every day?
“What we are saying is that if the killings have been on the news and we have intelligence network,
what are they doing? If the security agencies cannot live up to their responsibilities,
we can seek assistance from the international community.
We cannot be wasting our lives like that, it is a matter of serious concern.
“Birnin Gwari has been in the news for a very long time.
It is either kidnapping, armed robbery or cow rustling. Yet,
they still allow this problem to go on unabated, it is unacceptable.
The government should give us a reason and stop this blame game that
has continued to be the order of the day.
“Nigerians are not happy, the Northern Christian Elders Forum is not happy about it.
The government should live up to its bidding.
We are tasking the government of Kaduna State, we are tasking the Federal Government,
we are tasking the military, we are tasking the security agencies and intelligence network of Nigeria.
They should all put on their war shoes and if they are not capable,
they should think of another thing and seek help from somewhere because we
cannot allow lives to be wasted like that every day.
“Today, it is in Birnin Gwari, tomorrow it is in Zamfara. Next time, it is in Benue, another day,
it is in Taraba. After that, it is in Plateau, next time, it is in Southern Kaduna,
and another time, it is in Kogi. We cannot live like that because even in animal kingdom,
they don’t destroy themselves the way it is going on Nigeria.”
Stop senseless killings now, Northern elders tell FG
Meanwhile, the Prof. Ango Abdullahi-led Northern Elders’ Forum on Tuesday asked the
Federal Government to halt the herdsmen killings in some parts of the North.
The NEF also expressed concern over the rising tension ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Expressing the position of the forum after its meeting in Kaduna on Tuesday,
the Convener and spokesman for the NEF, Prof. Ango Abdullahi,
said the organisation reviewed the state of security of northern communities,
the economy and events related to the 2019 elections.
The former Vice-Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in a signed communique,
stated that the wanton killings and destruction of property in the
region were unacceptable and must stop forthwith.
Ango added that NEF was particularly disturbed by the herdsmen killings in Benue,
Kogi, Zamfara, Taraba, Plateau and Kaduna states, noting that the forum decided to
set up a committee to intervene in the humanitarian crisis and socio-economic
dislocation caused by the herdsmen killings in the North.
The NEF, according to the former VC, also decried the rising tension around political
and electoral competition towards capturing political power in 2019.
The communiqué partly read, “The Forum is also concerned that rising tensions around
political and electoral competition towards the 2019 general elections will present additional
threats to national security and the conduct of free and fair elections
under a safe and secure atmosphere.”
Death toll in Kaduna attack hits 73
The death toll in the Saturday attack on Gwaska village in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area
of Kaduna State has increased to 73.
A source told one of our correspondents in Kaduna on the telephone that additional bodies were recovered
from the bush by the local vigilance and hunters on Tuesday.
The source added that the vigilance group and the hunters were still combing the
forest just as he said several residents were still missing.
“From 71, the local vigilance and hunters recovered two bodies this morning.
They recovered two dead bodies – one already decomposed while the other one was badly mutilated.
They have been buried.
“As I speak, there is still no security in the area.
The security operatives left immediately the governor left with his entourage yesterday (Monday).
We are at the mercy of God,” he added.
Meanwhile, members of the community under the aegis of the Birnin-Gwari
Vanguards for Security and Good Governance stated that as soon as the governor left
Gwaska on Monday, the group recovered 13 more bodies
bringing the total number of people killed so far.
A social media message by the group said,
“As Governor Nasir El-Rufai visit Birnin-Gwari and Gwaska village today (Monday),
13 more dead bodies recovered and buried.
“This bring the total number of people killed to 71. Many people are still missing.”