The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and Supreme Council for Shariah in Nigeria (SCSN) have condemned the killing of several pastoralists in Nasarawa state, while urging the Federal Government to probe the killings, punish the killers and compensate the victims.
ACF in a statement signed by it’s Secretary General, Malam Murtala Aliyu on Sunday said, “Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) is calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency conduct an investigation surrounding the murder of over 50 pastoralists and butchers around Doma, Nasarawa state by a purported drone strike on the 25th of January 2023. To our knowledge only government has the power to deploy armed drones.
“The circumstances surrounding the killing of the pastoralists who went to Makurdi, Benue state to retrieve 1,250 impounded cattle from the Benue Livestock guards after paying a fine of N29 million to the guards only to be killed by drone controlled by unknown people calls for thorough investigation. Sources told ACF that the drone strike happened while the livestock were being offloaded after the owners were forced to take back their cattle in trucks from Makurdi.
“This incident came barely six months after a similar incident in which hundreds of livestock were killed when a helicopter gunship belonging to the Nigerian Air Force from the Makurdi Base Operation carried out the strike killing and wounding the animals and some herders in Awe also in Nasarawa state. In a serious country, the death of one person is enough to attract the attention and intervention of the government. The Nigerian air space is managed by the Federal Government through the Nigerian Airspace Management Authority (NAMA).
“So we expect the Federal Government to immediately fish out the perpetrators of this dastardly act, whoever they are, to face the law. We called for adequate compensation to be paid to the families of the victims. We however wish to commend the Nasarawa state government for the intervention they made so far in giving medical attention and support to survivors and the victims’ family. ACF condemns this unwarranted killing and extends its condolences to the families of the deceased and the government of Nasarawa state.”
The Secretary General of Supreme Council for Shari’a in Nigeria, Malam Nafiu Baba Ahmed told correspondent on Sunday in Kaduna that the brutal murder of the pastoralists should be thoroughly probed by government and perpetrators brought to book. “We condemned in strongest term the recent brutal murder of Fulani herdsmen along the Nasarawa/ Benue border. This cruel massacre of about 30 persons and dozens of their cattle, for obviously no other reason than that it had happened one too many times before, with no action, apology or compensation.
“Clearly, Muslim and Fulani lives have become fair game, to kill and maim with impunity with nobody held responsible, no sanctions as a deterrent or compensation. It is immaterial whether it was the NAF or a drone. We call on government and the security agencies to transparently investigate and make their findings public.
“In the meantime, Diyyah (compensation for death) and the annihilated cattle must be made promptly and publicly by the government/ security agencies,” the Shari’a council scribe said.