Last Tuesday, Catholic faithful across the nation took to the streets to protest the killings of their members which included priests and other parishioners particularly in Benue State of recent. On the same day, the victims were buried amid rising emotions and condemnations by Nigerians. Interestingly, Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and other top government functionaries were among those who attended the burial each condemning the killings as barbaric, unfortunate and reprehensible. This is not the first time nor will it be last the government functionaries will condemn these wanton killings without taking any concrete action against the menace.
Top Catholic priests among whom is Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal Onaiyekan, Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie (retd) have each called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign if he cannot guarantee the safety of lives and property of the citizens.
Recall that the orgy of escalated killings by the murderous Fulani herdsmen began on New Year ‘s Day January 1, with the wanton killings of about 109 Benue State Catholic faithful during a church service.
Ever since, the killings had been going on daily unchecked with the Fulani herdsmen undeterred and brazen in their devilish exploits. Nigeria is gradually turning to a cemetery of innocent citizens, it is rather unfortunate.
Two weeks ago, President Buhari announced with glee the establishment of a battalion of soldiers in Benue State to tackle insecurity in the state and the surrounding ones. With this, the Fulani herdsmen were still emboldened to attack and kill two Catholic priests and some other parishioners who attended a church service.
We strongly believe that deploying even a division of the army will not and cannot deter the rampaging herdsmen.
You cannot solve an urgent problem by dealing with it superficially but by going to the root cause. The Miyetti Allah, the arrowhead of the Fulani herdsmen in this case is the root cause of these killings, remember they had earlier boasted that they would not obey the anti-grazing law even if promulgated by the Federal Government which action they had followed to the letter with the Federal Government’s cluelessness on the menace.
We therefore suggest the following as antidote to the killings: Proscription of Miyetti Allah and random arrests of their members, they should immediately be disarmed and the recalcitrant among them should be shot on sight and killed. They should be decimated by installment wherever found. Anybody found hobnobbing with them should be treated as one of them.
In fact, the Miyetti Allah should be declared a terrorist group all over the country and be treated ruthlessly as serial murderers. We believe they cannot be stronger than the government. We make bold to state here that President Buhari is one of the Fulani herdsmen even if acting surreptitiously. He should therefore jettison his clannish and nepotic posture on the Fulani herdsmen issue.
The President should immediately overhaul the security outfit in the country. We shall not desist from asking him to change his service chiefs who had lost focus and replacing them not with those from his ethnic kinsmen but from other parts of the country who are detribalized.
We commiserate with the Catholic church nationwide on this unfortunate but avoidable incident while granting the victims eternal rest and relatives the courage to bear the irreparable loss.
The buck stops on Buhari’s table to urgently do the needful. Enough of this incessant carnage and loss of property.