There are calls that the Fulani herdsmen should be declared a terrorist group, given their mode of operation and ceaseless acts of terrorism?
I didn’t say so; you heard me clearly. I didn’t say they should declare anybody a terrorist group. How did they get to Nigeria if they are not from Nigeria? You mean Nigeria is not a nation-state anymore? Do I have to beg other citizens of Nigeria for me to receive protection from Nigeria? No, I don’t care who declares them terrorists. Nigeria doesn’t have security forces anymore? I don’t want them to be declared terrorists. We have been watching this thing for too long.
How can you expect a person like me; I came for holiday in Makurdi, I saw the dead bodies on Wednesday; I saw children crying; I saw people weeping. People were so angry; they were throwing stones at the innocent governor of the state.
This is not right. I had advised the Federal Government. I had advised the president that this thing is pregnant; there is a lot of danger. We are a very strategic corporate part of Nigeria. We made a disproportionate contribution to the maintenance of the unity of Nigeria at war. We made a sacrifice of over half a million men to keep Nigeria one; we cannot be made to look like cowards.
We cannot be made to look like women, who will watch their children being killed, and a government that is supposed to protect them that we helped to put in power do nothing. If that is the case, should we organise ourselves and confront these people before government would come so that we can slaughter and slaughter thousands and thousands of people? That’s what I’m afraid of. I am angry and I love Nigeria. I love my country. Government must rise to its own obligation and responsibility.
You shouldn’t give every member of the society the wrong notion that some people are more equal than others, which others can commit crime and get away with it and those others can commit crime and be ordered to account for their crime. Murder has been perpetrated; it should be accounted for. These people should be arrested. They should be charged to properly constituted courts of competent jurisdiction.
They should be tried under the laws of Nigeria; they should be punished by the provisions of the law. If that is not the case, then the constitution of Nigeria allows the Tiv people to organise themselves so that they can give protection to themselves, their properties, their children, wives and their land. That is allowed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and it is allowed by the United Nations’ Charter. Don’t we have a government? I believe we do. Don’t we support the government? I suppose we do. Government must rise to its obligations; otherwise we would organise to protect ourselves.