HURIWA berates Malami over call for herders’ commission
• Wants armed herdsmen tried for mass murder
An idea muted by Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), that ‘pastoralism commission’ be established as solution to incessant invasion of farmlands and communities across the country by armed Fulani herdsmen has been described as diversionary and highly irresponsible, irrational and misplaced.
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), who criticised the idea, lamented that Malami could make such a call for herders who destroy farm produce and kill farmers as consequences of bitter discord arising from their destructive actions.
HURIWA recalled that Malami had on Tuesday called for establishment of the commission even as he called for a community-oriented approach in diffusing and eliminating the menace of the herders that has retarded economic development and created widespread insecurity.
Malami, who was speaking as a special guest of honour at the Peace, Unity, and Security Lecture Series 2021 held at the ECOWAS main auditorium, Abuja, where he was represented by his Media Aide, Dr. Umar Gwandu, said for peaceful coexistence in the country, there was need for strict adherence to the rule of law, respecting the sanctity of the fundamental human rights in all ramifications.
HURIWA quoted the minister recommended setting up of regulated grazing reserves to replace the “Burtali” or “Hurumi” pastoral system as well as intensive enlightenment to livestock breeders on the need for sedentary farming and transhumance agriculture as a complementary economic process to nomadic farming.
HURIWA, however, strongly disagreed with Malami whom it accused of refusing to prosecute or ensure that all the terrorists and armed Fulani herdsmen who were accused of destroying farms of communities are prosecuted and punished since 2015.
The human rights group alleged the minister unambiguously displayed elements and character of tribal and religious loyalties to his primordial and ethnoreligious affinities as a Fulani-born lawyer and politician rather than to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, the group said “the minister is simply chasing shadows and attempting to deceive Nigerians by veering off into the arena of embarking on a wild voyage of discovery as shown by his suggestion for setting up of a pastoralists commission as a solution to the terrorism of armed Fulani herdsmen instead of enforcing the laws of Nigeria to punish persons who wield several weapons of mass destruction and have unleashed bloody violence all around the country, including Benue, Plateau, Southern Kaduna, Enugu and parts of Imo State.”