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Killer herdsmen not terrorists, says Garba Shehu

• Ekiti, Benue, MASSOB slam presidential aide

By Adetutu Folasade-Koyi, Wole Balogun, Ekiti, Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha  and Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, declared during a programme on national television, yesterday, that killer herdsmen are not terrorists.

He described them as “criminal gangs.”

There have been clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers across the country. Clashes between herdsmen and local communities, in Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Nasarawa, Ekiti, Ondo, Delta, Edo, Kaduna states, among others.

Ekiti, Benue, Taraba states have enacted anti-grazing laws. In these states, herdsmen have rejected the law and vowed to challenge them in court.

Regardless, Shehu reiterated on Channels, yesterday, that the federal government did not declare herdsmen as terrorists because they are “only criminal gangs” and quickly added that security agencies are dealing with them, according to the law.

“There is a difference between a criminal gang, criminal activity and a terrorist activity; and, I think from the definition we are getting, yes, Fulani herdsmen are a criminal gang and they are being dealt with according to the law of the country.

“But, IPOB, like Boko Haram, has a territory they have carved out for themselves, as a sovereign state of their own. They have shown the willingness to invade neighbouring states. They have raised concerns in neighbouring Kogi and Benue states. They have said they are interested in taking over Bayelsa and Rivers…IPOB is a small group of people running

“That is exactly what Boko Haram has done; with a flag and taxation system. This is not acceptable to the law of this country.”

Last Friday, the Defence Headquarters declared IPOB a “militant terrorist” organisation.

South East governors followed suit and proscribed the group’s activities, after a marathon meeting .

On Wednesday, a Federal High Court, in Abuja, granted government’s prayer and granted an interlocutory injunction to outlaw the group as a terrorist organisation.

Asked whether government knows the IPOB leader’s whereabouts, Shehu replied that the enquiries should be directed, instead, at those who signed his bail in April.

 Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Kanu’s counsel,  had alleged that this client is missing, after security agents allegedly stormed his home in Umuahia, on September 14, 2017.

“I am surprised someone would ask this question. Look, some people went to court and obtained his freedom, they signed his bail. I believe that a high profile group including a Senator of the Federal Republic signed in a court of law and obtained his freedom.

“So, if you are looking for him, why don’t you ask the people who bailed him? Nobody has informed me that Mr Kanu is in the hands of any institution of government. But, if I were looking for him, I would ask the guy who bailed him because that was the deal he had with the court of the land,” said Garba.

When Daily Sun contacted Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, to react to Shehu’s comments, he said government was just being selective on who to label as terrorist.

“It is very clear that they are the one who determine who is corrupt and who is not corrupt. When Fulani herdsmen sack communities in broad daylight, like it happened in Benue and Plateau, they carry AK 47, maim and destroy people. What do we call them if not terrorists? 

“If the government of the day says the herdsmen are not terrorists, we leave them to continue to be selective.  

“The destruction that the herdsmen have wreaked on the soil of Nigeria is a far cry from the mere agitation and peaceful protests IPOB have carried out and yet, government proscribed IPOB.”

On his part, Chief Press Secretary to Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom, Terver Akase, insisted that what the herdsmen had done in the state amounted to acts of terrorism.

Speaking exclusively to Daily Sun in Makurdi, yesterday, Akase, who noted that unlawfully taking the lives of innocent people was not permitted anywhere in the world, maintained that such act is nothing but  terrorism. “It is difficult to describe who is a terrorist and who is not but, what we do know is that whoever carries weapons to invade a community or a town and kill innocent people, if such person is not a terrorist, what he is doing amounts to an act of terrorism, because terrorism also seeks to destroy…That person may not be a terrorist but that act is an act of terrorism which herdsmen have been carrying out in Benue state,” the CPS said.

IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Mr. Emma Powerful, dismissed Shehu’s comments and insisted that the group has the right to agitate for an independent state of Biafra.

“IPOB is fighting for our right, which is permitted in the law of the United Nations and are terrorists for being peaceful and harmless

“Fulani herdsmen are recognised as the fourth, deadliest terrorist group in the whole world. We maintain our non-violent approach, towards restoration of Biafra.”

To leader of the Movement for Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Mr. Uchenna Madu, Shehu’s comments “has proved an earlier exposition that armed Fulani herdsmen, causing violent havoc in Christian-dominated regions are Hausa Fulani jihadist foot soldiers.                                     

“We still insist that IPOB is not a terrorist organisation.”

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One Comment

  1. If according to Mallam Garba Shehu,Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity,the Fulani
    Herdsmen aren’t terrorists but criminals,then he has inadvertently implicated the followings as criminals too:
    1.The Raghead Sultan of Sokoto,Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar.
    2.Our rogue Fulani President,Mallam Muhammadu Buhari.
    3.MACBAN,Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria and,
    4.Mobgal Fulbe Development Association.
    Come to think about that,both MACBAN and Mobgal Fulbe Development Association are Institution within the
    Fulani Sultanate of Sokoto.The Sultan of Sokoto is their Spiritual Head and President Muhammadu Buhari is
    one of their Eminent Patrons.
    MACBAN has in every South East and South South States 5 Sheikhs in charge of the Herdsmen,and they
    coordinate their activities with the help of our Aremed Forces and the Federal Police, who had always rushed to
    aid the herdsmen like in Awgu ,Enugu State and in Isoko,Delta State.
    The Sheikhs are also known to reach out to the Governors of their host States, by making sure that the State
    Houses get regular sumptuous supplies of beef every week.
    That goes along way to explains why Governors of Enugu and Delta States,where the worst atrocities have so far been committed in our entire South by the Fulani Herdsmen,are very reluctant to borrow a leaf from Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, like their counterparts in Benue and Taraba States in the North.
    The duty of Mobgal Fulbe Development Association is to outsource and recruit Fulbe (Fulani) Herdsmen from
    Fulbe States of West Africa; Bokina Faso,Chad,Gambia,Mali,Niger,Senegal,you name them; for the MACBAN.
    Thus,all the people mentioned above are therefore complicit in the criminal activities of the Fulani Herdsmen and Militias in this country.
    According to our code of conduct and common law, no man or woman is supposed to be above the law.
    All Nigerians are equal before our common laws.
    In this particular case,where the Fulani Herdsmen and Militias pose serious threats to the unity an security of this country,the law must take its course here.
    No to the status quo ante bellum!
    Down with Hausa/Fulani Islamic Hegemony!!
    Hail Biafra!!!

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