Row in Nigerian Senate Over Blame of Qaddafi-trained Fighters in Herdsmen Killings: President Buhari Is Totally Incompetent – Says Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe
This dramatic YouTube video captured a recent raucous scene at Chambers of the Nigerian Senate. The row was initiated when Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia – PDP) remarked about his aversion to the explanations for the escalating killings blamed on the Fulani herdsmen militia in states of the Middle Belt and Southern Nigeria as given by the trio of the Inspector-General of Police, the Minister of Defense and the President/Commander-in-chief, Muhammadu Buhari. Senators, who persistently attempted to disrupt Abaribe’s remarks, belonged to the ruling party, the APC. What made the esteemed Senate to burst into an uproar was Senator Abaribe’s assertion that Buhari’s full-throated blame on Qaddafi-trained foreign fighters as being responsible for the depraved Fulani herdsmen massacres was a de-facto admission by Nigeria’s president that he is a “totally incompetent Commander-in-chief”.
The APC Senate Leader demanded that Senator Abaribe must withdraw his insolent charge against the Nigerian President and apologize for his derogatory comments against the country’s head of state. The Senate President, Saraki, pull all the stops he could muster to douse the flame, but the Abia-born Senator Abaribe held his ground. He ended up giving a nominal apology to his fellow legislators who may be highly offended by the use of the word “incompetent” to characterize the president’s reported statement in London regarding the escalating spate of mass killings in Benue state and elsewhere in the Middle Belt. It is noteworthy that the ruling party’s senators disrupting Senator Abaribe’s comment were more concerned about politeness and choice of words rather than the essence of the Abia senator’s concerns.
As the Abia Senator aptly argued, if indeed fighters trained by the late Muammar Qaddafi of Lybia were the killers in the Benue massacres on 2018 New Year, then President Buhari failed woefully, as Commander-in-chief, to protect the lives of Nigerian citizens which he swore to do. No one heard the feisty APC senators heckling Senator Abaribe ever dispute that fact. In order words, it was okay for President Buhari to leave Nigerian citizens unprotected as long as no one shall take the extra step of calling the Commander-in-chief as totally incompetent for his gross lapses already admitted by him in faraway London, UK.
Other matters worthy of note emanate from the explanations proffered by the Inspector-General of Nigeria Police and the Defense Minister for the incessant killings perpetrated by the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore (a. k. a. Fulani herdsmen terrorist militia) in Benue state and other locations in Middle Belt and Southern Nigeria. The Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, had publicly blamed the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore for masterminding the Benue massacres on 2018 New Year Day. Before that gory incident, the MACBAN regional boss had threatened, on live TV, to do all within his power to resist the newly passed anti-grazing law in the Benue State Assembly. The IG of Police comment simply re-affirms the fact that the mass killings were perpetrated as a resistance to a law which was already debated, approved and enacted by the state government. Ordinary citizens of Benue, who had nothing whatsoever to do with the new law, were then targeted by the Fulani herdsmen militia for summary execution with AK47 gunfire while they slept quietly in their communities at night.
The Minister of Defense also gave his own explanation for the massacres in Benue and elsewhere as being caused by blockage of so-called Cattle Routes which denies access to the free-ranging Fulani nomadic cattle breeders and herders. Many Nigerians are unaware that huge tracks of lands belonging to communities across Nigeria have been earmarked to be “Cattle Routes” for the exclusive use of the Fulani cattle businessmen and their livestock. Rather than take the required legal recourse to air their complaints, MACBAN, and its sponsors opted instead to equip its own terrorist force as the means to vent its anger through the extrajudicial mass murder of innocent citizens of Benue. Many believe that the main reason why no one has been arrested after the Benue killings is the fact President Buhari is the Life Patron of MACBAN whose leadership echelon is being blamed for masterminding the brutal massacres.
Senator Abaribe has done his job well by speaking truth to power in Abuja even if at the risk of being heckled, ridiculed and intimidated by his colleagues who are sympathetic to the ruling party and business/political interests behind the ongoing mass murders and ethnic cleansing in states of the Middle Belt and Southern Nigeria. It is preferable to see Nigerian senator actually talk about matters of public concern instead of converting the Senate chambers into an open dormitory as is usually the case.