Government asked to adopt recommendations of 2011 panel of killings in the North.
A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has blamed the recent upsurge in killings by herdsmen in Nigeria on government negligence.
In a statement released on Monday, Mr. Falana said the incessant killings are the direct consequences of government’s abdication of its constitutional duty of protecting lives and property.
“The Federal Government has refused or failed to implement the official policy which would have halted the incessant mayhem unleashed on innocent people by the Fulani cattle rearers,” he said.
There has been a rise in cases of mayhem on farming communities in Benue and Kaduna States, blamed on Fulani herdsmen. Many villages and communities have been burnt and at least 300 people have been killed in Southern Kaduna and in Benue State in recent weeks.
Mr. Falana particularly blamed government for not implementing the recommendation of the Sheikh Ahmed Lemu Presidential Panel set up by the Federal Government to probe the 2011 Post Election Violence and Civil Disturbances in some Northern States.
The panel had revealed that the main cause of violence between the herdsmen and farming communities was the destruction of cultivated crop by cattle.
Mr. Falana said the committee’s recommendation that government ensure each state defined its cattle grazing routes, which will then be harmonised with those of adjacent states, was completely ignored by government.
“If the directive contained in the White Paper issued by the Federal Government since August, 2012 had been implemented, the recent violent clashes between the Fulani herdsmen and many farmers would have been averted,” he said.
He advised the government not to waste time on a new investigation into the cause of the recent violence but to implement the recommendation of the panel as a means to solving the problem.
Mr. Falana also chastised the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, for opposing the implementation of the policy on the ground that it aimed at Islamising Nigeria.
“The CAN leadership ought to realise that there is no civilised country in the world where cows, goats and pigs are allowed to roam the streets. Indeed, it may interest the CAN leadership to know that majority of the members of the Sheikh Ahmed Lemu Panel who recommended the acquisition of cattle grazing zones for the Fulani herdsmen are Christians. The Federal Government should ignore the diversionary position of the CAN leadership in the search for a permanent solution to the perennial crisis,” Mr. Falana said.
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