Why Has the Buhari Administration Never Publicly Admitted That the Fulani Herdsmen Militia Are Terrorists? – asks Senator Abaribe


Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South, PDP) laments the schism and dichotomous takes regarding the attitude and impact of Federal Government policies on the wellbeing and survival of his constituents in the Southeast. A decreasing minority, somehow, manage to remain optimistic that dialogue shall offer solutions with time. The enlarging more vocal and angry youthful majority have already turned the corner away from a governance model that regards Southern Nigeria as a conquered territory of the Northern ruling elite.

Senator Abaribe has repeatedly asked why the Buhari administration has never publicly labeled the Fulani herdsmen militia a terrorist group despite the thousands killed and displaced by this well-armed nongovernmental fighting force? On the other hand, the same government would eagerly go to the court to affirm the proscription of the unarmed and nonviolent members of IPOB. The Buhari administration has classified the IPOB as a terrorist organization, even though the activist group has never harmed or killed anyone. Why …, asks Senator Abaribe. 

Expert monitors of global terrorism had ranked the Fulani herdsmen militia as the 4th deadliest terrorist group in the world, after the ISIS of the Levant, Al Shabab of Somalia and Boko Haram of Nigeria. The Fulani herdsmen militia were responsible for the mass murder in Benue, where scores of indigenous inhabitants of the state were slaughtered while they slept in the homes in January 2018. Similar escapades were reported in Southern Kaduna, Plateau, Taraba, Nasarawa states. The AK47-wielding terrorists operate in the open and are said to be colluding with this administration’s official security agencies as a matter of routine. With all the long track record of murder and mayhem in the Middle Belt and Southern states, no single Fulani herdsmen terrorist has ever been arrested or even investigated. 

It is easy to conclude that the incumbent Buhari administration must approve of the mission and operational agenda of the Fulani herdsmen militia. It is also well-known that the Fulani herdsmen militia is sponsored by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN). President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria is the Life Patron of the MACBAN. 

From the perspective of his constituents, Senator Abaribe concludes that the hostility of the incumbent occupant of the Aso Rock Villa toward his people of the Southeast is reminiscent of the siege on Biafra and genocide of the Civil War. It is incredible that after 50 years from the end of that war, there are well-connected and influential citizens who still fight the Nigeria/Biafra war in their minds today. Just like during the Civil War, the attacked has no other choice than to defend oneself or be murdered in cold blood. 

The full significance of this poser by Senator Abaribe should not be lost on anyone.