A human rights lawyer, Barr. Uwemedimoh Nwoko has attributed the seeming cold feet displayed by President Muhammadu Buhari in handling the rampaging menace of Fulani herdsmen in the country, to his emotional attachment to the Fulanis.
Featuring on a radio Interview, ‘Dakkada Akwa Ibom’ on Comfort 95.1FM in Uyo, Barr. Nwoko warned that the Fulani herdsmen should not be ignored as it could spread beyond religion and ethnicity, and advised the President to let go of his emotional sentiment and take the necessary action to end the persistent killings of innocent Nigerians.
Nwoko who is the Akwa Ibom State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, carpeted President Buhari’s inability to effectively tackle the menace of terrorism attacks in some parts of the country, asserting that the federal government has not done enough in its core mandate of safeguarding the lives of the citizenry.
“I wasn’t impressed with the kind of excuse offered by the President on the herdsmen, that reflects badly on the government in terms of his capacity to reasoning ability and readiness to tackle this heinous crime committed by the herdsmen”.
“I find myself unable to take away the feeling that this president and the present government is not ready to fight the herdsmen problem, possibly because of the president’s emotional attachment to the Fulani tribe where he comes from,” the lawyer enthused.
Barr Nwoko’s opinion was that, the president should detach himself from that primordial sentiment of being a Fulani man.
He maintained that protecting the herdsmen has earned the President accolades from the North “as the only president that is protecting the Fulanis and he is very happy to be called the only person that is protecting the Fulanis at the expense of the totality of every other Nigerians out of about 250 ethnic groups that we have in this country and that is very sad.”
He said the federal government needs to see the killer herdsmen as criminals, “people that are committing crimes and breaching the law and of course put in motion machineries for addressing it.”
The law officer alleged that the problem is a higher level of criminality were the Boko-Haram members have mixed up with the ISIS people and infiltrated the ranks of herdsmen to unleash terror in parts of the country,as against claims that the herdsmen are clashing with farmers because of grazing”.
Furthermore, he added, “it goes beyond grazing and if you look at places like Iran, Syria where some of these things are already rooted, you get to discover that it would not only stop with farmers, it would not only stop with Christians it would expand and extend to other people and by the time they get to realize it everybody would be a potential victim”.
The Akwa Ibom Attorney General however urged the state government of the affected states to take a cue from Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, by being proactive in their approach in tackling the security challenges bedeviling their respective states.
“I felt quite disturbed by the wailing of the Governor of Benue State that his people are being kidnapped and are being killed, I don’t think he should be helpless because he is the Chief Executive Officer of the state and every centimeter of that state comes under his control.”
Mr Nwoko was of the belief that, a governor also has a role to play in the security of his state, instead of completely waiting for the President.
“If it had happened in Akwa Ibom State, I am certain that my Governor would not allow it to degenerate.”
“To talk of Akwa Ibom State, we were faced with this kind of problems, what did the government do, how did Governor Udom Emmanuel respond to it, those things are dead as I am talking to you now as the Attorney General of the State.
“Governor Udom Emmanuel immediately responded with the highest action anybody would take, after praying he just said that this thing must come to an end and then he mobilized all force he could have and moved into Ukanafun, Ika and leveled it and the criminals are out”.
Barr. Uwemedimoh thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for his proactive response towards enhancing security in the state, noting that the Governor’s proscription of cult groups has aided in the prosecution of 250 suspects and the dismissal of two police officers for their involvement cultism.
“The war against cultism, he concluded, “is not for the state government alone the government has set a template, churches, communities, schools, families, everybody must rise up to say No to cultism. The message must be carried everyday to the nooks and crannies of the state”.