May 25, 2014
Fulani herdsmen under the umbrella of the Miyyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has accused the Nigerian military of engaging in extra-judicial killings of their men under the guise of fighting Boko Haram insurgents even as they have threatened to drag the authorities to court over the matter.
The body in a statement released in Kaduna today and signed by it National Secretary, Baba Usman Ngelzarma said the injustice against the Fulani was becoming alarming hence the need to voice out.
According to them: “First, we want to draw your attention to gruesome killings of some of our members in Saminaka town, in Lere Local Government, Kaduna State where six members of our association were sent to their early graves. The six members namely, Samaila Muhammadu, Isa Sule, Saleh Hassan, Mati Usman and two others on the 21st of May, 2014 at about 1500 hours were arrested in Kunkuru village in the same Lere Local government while returning from their grazing point in the south to their place of origin in Jigawa State as it is the tradition for all cattle breeders as it is now the rainy season in the North.
“The said six members who were in company of other five among them minors were arrested by officers of Special Military Task Force. One of them was shot on the leg while the six died due to gunshot wounds and torture.
“MACBAN sees this as brutal and deliberately planned in eliminating our members and it is more painful when security agents are involved. We also want to inform you of the assault and intimidation of one of our members Isa Idris of Rumanda village in Sanga Local government of Kaduna State. On the 22nd day of May, 2014, the Village Head of Rumanda summoned the said Isa and asked him to drive with him to the village and sort out some matters with him. As they alighted from the village head’s car, he ordered for the said Isa to be mercilessly beaten and youths around carried out his command thereby beating the victim to death.
“MACBAN has petitioned security agencies and the state government on the continuous harassment and killings of our members. The two cited examples are just few out of the many that can be remembered. It is ideal to investigate before dispensation of justice because there is no law in the whole world that says or gives room for prosecution without trial(sic). Even if the one in question is a criminal, the law permits that he should be tried or given fair hearing before prosecution(sic), especially where the person is not guilty of any offence.
“The authority should investigate because they use traditional leaders of villages to infringe on peoples rights. If anyone commits any offence or you are suspicious about someone in your domain, nothing stops you from contacting the leadership of the Miyyeti Allah and Ardo who were inaugurated by the traditional rulers to serve as intermediary and representatives of the Fulani community. But you carry laws into your hands by killing the person without reaching his leaders to ascertain if he is a bonifide member or not.
“We demand that the military authority to as a matter of urgency identify soldiers responsible for this gruesome killing of our members. We also demand the payment of compensation to the said victims’ families by the military and the immediate arrest of the village head of Rumanda by the security agencies and his subsequent trial.”