Intersociety raises alarm on lopsided security appointments escalating Jihadism in Nigeria

Government False Labelling And Lopsided Security Appointments Fuel And
Escalate Janjaweed Jihadism In Nigeria
------INTERSOCIETY
(Onitsha Nigeria: 14th March 2018)-A combination of false labelling,
misrepresentation of facts, propaganda, distractions, unwillingness,
inability, aiding, abetting, condoning and lopsided security
appointments by the present Federal Government of Muhammadu Buhari has
continued to fuel and escalate the Janjaweed (Jihadists under the
cover of cattle herders) attacks and destructions carried out on
Christian faithful and other non Muslims and their sacred places of
worship in Nigeria especially since mid 2015.
Specifically, the central Administration and many, if not most of the
mainstream media outfits-majorly owned or controlled by some, if not
many serving public office holders and their allies in the country;
have intensified their propaganda and facts misrepresentations by
labelling the Jihadist slaughtering of defenceless non Muslim
populations particularly members of the Christian faith and their
sacred places of worship as “Fulani Herdsmen/Farmers clashes”.  This
is totally condemnable and despicable.
It is recalled that the Janjaweed Jihadism or Jihadist violent attacks
mostly targeted at Christians and other non Muslim populations in
Nigeria have resulted in the violent death or killing of not less than
3,850 since June 2015-a month after Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari; a retired
Major Gen and life or grand patron of the Miyatti Allah Cattle
Breeders Association of Nigeria was sworn in as the sixth civilian
President of Nigeria. The killings since then by Boko Haram Islamic
insurgents; majorly targeted at Christians and other non Muslims have
also resulted in the death of not less than 2,100 civilians. Most, if
not all the victims of Fulani Janjaweed attacks are members of the
Christian faith.
In the months of December 2017 and January 2018 alone, over 350
civilian deaths were recorded in the hands of the duo. Between
February and middle of this March 2018, Fulani Janjaweed attacks have
accounted for not less than 100 deaths. In one of its most recent
attacks in Plateau State, Fulani Janjaweeds killed 25 Christians and
razed 11 houses including churches. More killings and property
destructions including churches and dwelling houses have also been
carried by the violent group since end of January 2018 in Nasarawa,
Plateau, Kaduna, Benue, Adamawa, Taraba and Ebonyi States. The above
named States, apart from Ebonyi host the largest Christian and other
non Muslim populations in Northern Nigeria where estimated 30 million
of them live or were born.
It is also on record that Boko Haram insurgents have killed not less
than 40 defenceless civilians in the area particularly in Borno and
Adamawa States since end of January 2018. By the recent investigation
of the Vanguard Newspaper, over 1,351 defenceless citizens were killed
or lost in the past ten weeks of 2018 to traditional criminal deaths
such as kidnapping, armed robbery, ritualism and avoidable auto
accidents etc; and crimes against humanity such as non war killings
perpetrated by the State and State aided attacks by violent ethno
religious or Jihadist groups such as Fulani Janjaweed and Boko Haram.
It may most likely be correct to say that not less than 40% of the
1,351 killings or 540 as exclusively investigated by the Vanguard
Newspaper arose from the killings perpetrated by Fulani Janjaweed and
Boko Haram in the past 10 months of this year (2018).
Sadly, the central Government in Nigeria under Muhammadu Buhari has
continued to treat the massacres and their perpetrators with kid
gloves by responding to them through brazen manifestation of
incompetence, incapability, inability, unwillingness, conspiracy,
aiding, abetting and fire brigade approach. The feeling of insecurity
and unsafe conditions by members of the victim population particularly
the endangered northern Christian population is rife and has risen to
an apogee.
By false labelling, the Federal Government and many, if not most of
the mainstream media; majorly owned illicitly or controlled by members
of the present federal and state public office holders and their
allies have continued to brazenly label the ethno-religious/Jihadist
violence as “Fulani Herdsmen/Farmers clashes”.
Through the propaganda machinery of the Government; efforts have
intensified to reduce the clearly State aided and well orchestrated
anti Christian massacres in Northern and parts of Southern Nigeria as
“Fulani Herdsmen/Farmers clashes”. It is strongly suspected that the
intents behind are geared towards shielding the culprits and
accomplices particularly those in the corridors of power as well as
reducing the legal and social gravity of the massacres and diverting
and distracting the attention of the international community. The
present central Government of Nigeria is seen by many as complicit in
the whole massacre especially since mid 2015; largely owing to its
inaction, inability and unwillingness to tame the carnages.
By research, investigations and other credible information obtained
from several international and local research, investigative and
victims’ bodies, the killings perpetrated by Fulani Janjaweed are
thousands of miles away from mere “herdsmen/farmers’ clashes”. The
invocation of the right of self defence by the Christian survivors and
other victim population is near absence. The Janjaweed Jihadism
atrocities are carefully designed or planned and executed for Jihadist
intents using the cover of “cattle herders/herdsmen” in Nigeria or any
part thereof.
Like the historical Janjaweed of Sudan and Rwanda and Burundi’s Tutsi
cattle herders and their Darfur and Hutu sedentary (farmers)
neighbours, the Fulani Herdsmen in Nigeria are also historically noted
to engaging in seasonal clashes with their host farming communities
particularly those located in the Southern Rain Forest and Meddle Belt
regions. Such seasonal clashes, devoid of modern State involvement;
were over grazing grounds and safety of farm crops and farmlands.
The clashes usually occurred during dry and beginning of rainy seasons
owing to dearth of grazing grasses and weeds in the far northern parts
of Nigeria. In the said clashes, usually ragtag and erratic, Fulani
Herdsmen as guest grazers were always the aggressors owing to their
ceaseless incursions into farmlands and indiscriminate destruction of
farm crops. The host farmers rarely revenged and erratically acted in
self defense under compelling circumstances.
However, just like in modern Sudan and Rwanda and Burundi, radical and
religious fundamentalists within successive and subsisting central
Government in Nigeria have hijacked the Fulani Herdsmen, regimented
and militarized them for reasons of politico-religious radicalism or
Jihadism and conquest.

In recent times, for purpose of enthronement of Jihadism, the
referenced radical or fundamentalist elements in Northern Nigeria
infiltrated the Fulani Herdsmen to launch several bloody attacks
against non Muslim populations particularly Christians and their holy
places of worship across Nigeria and partly make the then central
Governments ungovernable. This was the case particularly in 2000s to
2014.
Between 2015 and presently, the cells and frontiers of the Fulani
Herdsmen and their anti Christian violent attacks were expanded and
fortified particularly towards old Meddle Belt, Southeast, South-south
and many parts of Southwest. With Boko Haram anti Christian attacks
resulting in destruction of over 13,000 churches and 1,500 Christian
Schools as well as killing of over 11,500 Christians and fleeing of
1.3million others particularly in Northeast Nigeria between 2009 and
2014; the option of Boko Haram for Jihadist expansionism especially
towards predominant Christian North-central, Southern Kaduna and
Christian strongholds of Southern Nigeria; was relaxed and the concept
of Janjaweed Jihadism was raised and expanded.
The concept of “Janjaweed Jihadism” became the option of northern
religious radicals including some, if not many serving public office
holders at Federal and State levels for expansion of Islamism towards
Meddle Belt and Southern Nigeria (particularly Southeast and
South-south) owing to existing age-long Fulani Cattle rearing in
Nigeria. Owing to hospitality of the Peoples of Southern and Meddle
Belt regions of Nigeria, Fulani Cattle herders are accepted and
permitted to graze in Southern and Meddle Belt lands. These, the
northern radical religionists and public office holders cashed in and
devised for conquest and expansion of Islamism in Nigeria’s Christian
strongholds.
Apart from the above, available statistics also indicate clearly that
the ongoing well oiled anti Christian attacks by Janjaweed Jihadists
are totally incoherent with Government and its media claims of “Fulani
Herdsmen/Farmers clashes”. Seasonally speaking, the attacks have
ceased to be seasonal.
As a matter of fact, most of them take place outside dry seasons or
without seasons. Patterns and trends of sophisticated weaponry as well
as hours of the attacks used or applied by the marauding Janjaweeds
and the central Government’s woeful failure to unmask them have also
fuelled speculations of involvement and protective covers possibly
provided for the killer elements by some fundamentalists in Nigeria’s
security establishments.
The role of the present Federal Government in Nigeria is also gravely
suspicious. There had never been this level of partiality, aiding,
abetting and condoning of the Janjaweed atrocities and their adoption
as a national policy by any successive central Government in Nigeria
than the present Government of Muhammadu Buhari; to the extent that
Cattletocracy now dominates national policy of the Administration.
Further, there is no link whatsoever between farming and cattle
grazing activities and Christian worship and their sacred places of
worship which had come under severe attacks and destruction by Fulani
Janjaweeds particularly since mid 2015. By recent statistics, over
13,000 churches and 1,500 Christian schools were destroyed or razed to
rubbles between 2009 and 2014 particularly in Northern Nigeria;
courtesies of Boko Haram and Janjaweed marauders. By the Open Doors
Int’l report of 2015, most of the destructions were carried out by
Boko Haram while Janjaweed Fulani Herdsmen accounted for the rest.
Specifically, by the attacks and destructions perpetrated by the
Fulani Janjaweed, not less than 500 churches have been destroyed or
razed to rubbles across Nigeria since mid June 2015. Some of the
churches seized from Christian worshippers are “cleansed” and
converted to Fula Islamic use. By the most recent account of the Benue
State Branch of CAN, over 500 churches have been destroyed by Fulani
Herdsmen in the State since 2011, out of which over 170,000 internally
displaced persons were also generated. See the Vanguard Newspaper of
today, 14th March 2018 for more details.
It is also generally estimated that over 500,000 mostly Christian IDPs
have been generated in recent years particularly since mid 2015
following Fulani Herdsmen attacks across Nigeria. Over 2.6m were
generated by Boko Haram insurgency since 2009. By available
statistics, churches and other Christian holy places of worship
destroyed or razed by the Janjaweeds are mostly located in Benue,
Nasarawa, Plateau, Southern Kaduna, Taraba and Adamawa States. Those
in Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, and Borno States are also not spared. They all
fell in the hands of the duo of Boko Haram and Fulani Janjaweed
Islamic Jihadists.
Consequently, our questions to the present Federal Government in
Nigeria and other apologists of “Fulani Herdsmen/Farmers clashes”
false assertion are:
•    What have animal husbandry or cattle grazing got to do with
destruction of churches and killing of innocent and defenceless
Christian worshippers or forceful conversion to Islam of traumatized
Christian faithful or destruction of their schools or conversion of
same into Fula Islamic use or annexation, possession and occupation of
properties belonging to Christian rural dwellers including their
churches?

•    What and where are the published and verifiable Government and
independent statistics of widespread casualty figures of Fulani
Herdsmen killed across Nigeria particularly since mid 2015 by their
“rival Farmers” as well as the number of their Mosques and dwelling
houses destroyed or razed to rubbles or their lands, villages and
Mosques annexed, possessed and occupied by their “rival farmers”
indicating clearly the widespread “Fulani Herdsmen/Farmers clashes”
across Nigeria?
The Buhari Administration’s national policy of gross lopsidedness in
the appointment of security heads, contrary to Section 14 (3) of
Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution has further fuelled and escalated the
Fulani Janjaweed attacks against Christians and their sacred places of
worship and emboldened their attackers to the point of
remorselessness, recklessness and untamed impunity.
Government statistics openly indicate that most or 98% of the
country’s security, defence, law and policing headships and oversight
agencies are presently in the hands of northern Muslims; contrary to
pluralistic and secular composition of Nigeria clearly provided in
Section 14 (3) of the country’s 1999 Constitution.
These include DG of SSS, Police IG, National Security Adviser, CG of
Custom, CG of Immigration, CG of Prisons, CG of NSCDC, Minister of
Defense, Minister of Interior, AGF of the Federation, Chief of Army
Staff, Chief of Air Staff and DG of NIA. Others are 15 out of the
country’s 22 serving Police AIGs and many, if not most of the 37 State
and FCT CPs.
In the Southeast, most of the commanders of Army, Navy and Air Force
formations as well as majority of State CPs and Police Area Commands,
Divisional Police Offices and commanders of MOPOL Squadrons are also
occupied by northern Muslims.
We therefore, not only condemn but also reject in totality the
condemnable labelling by the present Federal Government and many, if
not most of the country’s mainstream media of the Fulani Janjaweed
attacks and destructions in Nigeria carried out on Christians and
their sacred places of worship as “Fulani Herdsmen/Farmers clashes”.
The failure of the Federal Government to tame the massacres and fish
out their perpetrators are clearly rooted in the above. Federal
Government of Nigeria must desist from decriminalization of these
clear acts of crimes against humanity by the killer Janjaweed and wake
up from its slumber so as to treat the referenced carnages as crimes
against humanity or heinous crimes committed under non war
circumstances in Nigeria or any part thereof.
The central Government of Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari must also overhaul
the present grossly lopsided security headship composition in Nigeria
and restructure it along constitutional, secular, multi
ethno-religious and pluralistic lines to truly reflective the
country’s multi ethno-religious pluralism and secularism.
Failure of the Buhari Administration to heed this clarion as it has
severally, stubbornly and injuriously done in the past two years will
be tantamount to self invited injuries and harms including regional
and international opprobrium and criminal indictment under regional
and international justice system.
Signed:
For: Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chair
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Barr Obianuju Joy Igboeli
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Barr Chinwe Umeche
Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
Intersociety raises alarm on lopsided security appointments escalating Jihadism in Nigeria Intersociety raises alarm on lopsided security appointments escalating Jihadism in Nigeria  Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Thursday, March 15, 2018 Rating: 5

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