A pro-democracy and Non-governmental organization – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has described as insensitive, heartless and irresponsible, the statement ascribed to the presidency blackmailing Nigerians to give up their lands for ranching rather been killed.
The Rights group affirmed that this latest diabolical assertion from the presidency is the clearest circumstantial evidence that the current administration has resolved to watch as hundreds of farmers are murdered for their lands by armed Fulani herdsmen.
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has therefore expressed optimism that the international criminal court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands will take judicial notice of this confessional statement of guilt in the killings of Innocent Nigerians by Miyetti Allah cattle owners Association’s sponsored armed Fulani herdsmen and therefore order the arrest of key government officials working for the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The Rights group has also asked the governors of all the affected states and the organized Christian communities to collectively drag the president Buhari’s government to the ICC for prosecution over crimes against humanity been committed by armed Fulani herdsmen whilst the central administration choses to play the ostritch and/or display the tendencies of a dictatorial regime that colludes with the mass killers.
“The statement from the presidency is a direct blackmail against Nigerians and amounts to a visible admission that the killings may never stop if Nigerians insists on their right to the ownership of their ancestral lands. We hope and wish that the international criminal court has taken note of this and we intend to file additional materials to the international criminal court to support our petition before the global crimes court which we had submitted over a year ago.”
HURIWA reminded President Muhammadu Buhari that under international laws, Nigeria by becoming parties to international treaties, assumes legal and binding obligations and duties to respect, to protect and to fulfill human rights just as the Rights group stated that the current administration has failed in its obligation to protect the right to life of Nigerian citizens.
HURIWA’s condemnation of the government came against the backdrop that the Presidency, had recently charged those against the administration’s ranching and colony programmes for herdsmen to rethink, noting that they are better off living with the ranches and colonies than dying through the persisting conflicts.
HURIWA recalled that the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, speaking on an AIT morning programme in response to a question on ancestral attachments to land said: “Ancestral attachment? You can only have ancestral attachment when you are alive. If you are talking about ancestral attachment, if you are dead, how does the attachment matter?
HURIWA recalled that Adesina said: “Some people are saying don’t use government money to build ranches. If truly they don’t have lands, that is fine, but remember that Kogi State offered 15,000 hectares of land for cattle colony and in the midst of that offer vicious attacks were unleashed. “In Plateau State, where we had the recent orgy of killings, the government has offered land for ranches and I tell you that some people are interested in this thing not being resolved. “So, if your state genuinely does not have land for ranching, it is understandable; not every state will have land for ranches. But where you have land and you can do something, please do for peace. What will the land be used for if those who own it are dead at the end of the day?”