Members of the South East caucus of the Nigerian Senate have called for an emergency summit of South-East and South-South political and traditional leaders as a platform to proffer coordinated response to the menace of marauding herdsmen.
They also accused President Muhammadu Buhari of negligence and refusal to give even a “cursory routine condemnation” after attacks allegedly by Fulani herdsmen.
This was contained in a statement, Thursday, signed by Eyinnaya Abaribe, a Senator representing Abia State.
The call for summit came in the wake of a deadly attack on Monday on Nimbo, a community in Enugu State, blamed on herdsmen.
Mr. Buhari on Wednesday condemned the attack, and asked security agencies to respond to the spreading menace. The president has been widely criticised for not responding quickly to previous attacks.
Rising from its meeting in Abuja, the South East Senators warned of imminent danger and possible attack on the unity of Nigeria should the Federal Government fail to “urgently address the Enugu massacres by the marauding Fulani herdsmen”.
According to their statement, the Senators not only condemned the attack, “which left over 50 persons dead and scores driven out of their homes”, they also called for a “summit of South East and South South State Governors, members of National and State Houses of Assembly, Socio-Cultural associations, traditional rulers and major stakeholders immediately”.
The emergency summit, according to the lawmakers, is to review and evaluate what they described as a “very scary situation” and proffer a coordinated response that would ensure the security of lives and properties of their people.
The attitude of Mr. Buhari towards the attacks allegedly perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen necessitated the call for emergency summit, the caucus said.
“The summit has become urgently necessary against the background of the ominous silence and apparent indifference of the presidency over the killings in Enugu, some areas in Delta state and so many other zones in recent time even when there was obvious intelligence reports.
“We can no longer sit and watch while our people are daily slaughtered like fowls without even attracting the cursory routine condemnation by the Presidency.
“We are even more appalled that despite the alarm raised by the Uzo Uwani Communities of an imminent attack by the Fulani herdsmen and the associated vague assurances by the Chairman of Fulani community in Enugu that such attack will not happen, yet the security agencies failed to prevent the attack that happened two days after the alarm.
“It is disheartening what is happening and somebody has to take responsibility. That somebody has to be the institution of the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” said the caucus.