The Patriot Institute of Journalism and Arts (PIJA), Lance Magazine is a public-centric independent media organisation dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering social justice and community development through the telling and retelling of the marginalised-oriented stories.
400 northern ethnic groups to resist herders attacks
A coalition of 400 indigenous groups spread across 15 northern states under the aegies of Conference of Autochtonous Ethnic Nationalities Communities Development Associations vowed to resist attacks and killings in their region by herdsmen.
Addressing a press conference in Jos on Thursday, the Secretary General of the group, Suleman Sukukum noted that the region had suffered the worst forms of criminality in the hands of herdsmen including kidnapping for ransom, trade in human flesh and parts, human slave trafficking including child trafficking, and sex slavery; banditry and cattle rustling with the government doing little or nothing to stop them.
According to him, “Millions are displaced with over 1.5 million in Benue State alone. Thousands of Women are raped with over 700 Women in Kebbi State alone; Thousands of Houses have been destroyed with over 2,500 homes in Irigwe land alone between 2nd and 12th of August. Our girls are being trafficked because they are internally displaced. Our ability to farm, attend school and carry out our legitimate businesses is being denied by these terrorist activities.
“Our experience indicate a weakness in the level of engagement and sincerity of public officials in dealing with these issue; the role of corruption and the failure of our security system to use information or Intel in responding on time and adequately to various early warning signals.
“We have also observed with certainty that some public figures, while embarrassed by the security and humanitarian situation, prefer to white-wash or deny the extent and impact of the crisis rather than act decisively in addressing the relevant issues.
“As stakeholders in the Nigerian Society and leaders of the over 400 indigenous communities of Central and Northern Nigeria, we are key stakeholders in the Nigerian Project and must play our part in addressing these national issues.
“The CONAECDA conference had decided to immediately commence a project to secure, reconstruct and protects such communities. We therefore use this occasion to notify all trespassers and occupiers of our communities that we are coming after them and shall recover through every legitimate means our communities and lands.”