From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
A human rights organisation, International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (Intersociety), has condemned the defense of the presidency on alleged invasion of Fulani herdsmen in Ondo State forest that gave rise to quit notice by the governor.
The group said it was shocking that the present government of Nigeria put in place to oversee the affairs including collective security, safety and welfare of all Nigerians and their 387 ethnic nationalities who are spiritually and morally attached to the country’s three dominant regions of Christianity, Islam and traditionalism, has dangerously converted the country into ‘jihadist Fulani Caliphate’.
A statement by the Chairman of Intersociety Mr Emeka Umeagbalasi, said that the latest attacks on the Government and People of Ondo State by the President Muhammadu Buhari through his presidential media aide, Mallam Garba Shehu, over the defensive backing of terror jihadist activities of the Fulani herdsmen in the state’s forests especially its forest reserves, are an official confirmation that the country is under jihad being executed by the Government backed local and ‘imported’ Fulani ‘Janjaweeds’.
He said: ‘The intensity, boldness and vigor with which the ‘caretaker’ of the country’s public affairs has come to defend ‘the Janjaweeds’ and their jihadist activities are a further confirmation that the present Government of Nigeria through the country’s military especially the Nigerian Army has been responsible for violent movement and permanent settlement of local and imported jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in forests, bushes and farmlands across the country’s rainforest regions especially the Christian held areas of the old Middle Belt, South-South, South-East and South-West.
‘This was made possible and achievable through an unreported ‘forest mapping’, conducted by the Nigerian Army throughout Nigeria in 2015. Though camouflaged as done for purpose of ascertaining the number of forests in each of the affected regions as ‘a proactive and preventive strategy in the country’s counterinsurgency operations’; but it is becoming independently clearer the real motive behind the exercise discreetly disclosed to Intersociety in 2019 by some of its friends in the military.
‘The vehemence with which the Presidency singles out Fulani tribe and Islam as “the noble tribe” and “religion” and others as “slaves” and “condemned”, clearly solidifies our position.
‘We hereby stand strongly in solidarity with Yoruba leaders and other social forces that have risen in strong condemnation of the conspiratorial body language and rabid partisanship of the Presidency. We particularly align ourselves with the position of Mr. Adegboruwa, SAN.
‘The Presidency, indeed, is dangerously turning the Constitution of Nigeria upside down as nowhere in same is it provided or allowed for Fulani Jihadists to violently move and permanently settle inside ancestral forests and bushes belonging to another ethnic nationality and disguised as ‘rural cattle grazing or grazing routes’; but with clear motive of propagating radical Islamism,’ Umeagbalasi stated.