Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja
Senate on Wednesday okayed the general belief that the Fulani herdsmen that have continued to terrorise communities, farmers and their farms are terrorists.
This was sequel to an additional prayer raised by Senator Shehu Sani, which said that: “the Senate should urge the security agents to stop tagging Fulani herdsmen as terrorists”.
Although Senator Ali Wakil seconded Sani’s additional prayer, it was, however, rejected with a resounding chorus of ‘nays’.
The additional prayer followed the motion sponsored by Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, and entitled: the need to urgently flush out Boko Haram insurgents re-assembling in Taraba and halt the ongoing silent genocide in the State.
The Red Chamber had resolved to: call for condemnation of the killings, kidnappings, destructions of properties, farms and farmlands going on in the State by Boko Haram (insurgents); and call on the security chiefs to deploy security into Taraba State to stop the killings and flush the insurgents out of the State.
It also resolved to: urge the Senate to call on compel the Federal Government to undertake a holistic study of the crisis in Taraba State and rehabilitate the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and supervise their reintegration into their communities.
Similarly, the Upper Legislative Chamber resolved to: call on its relevant committees to visit the affected areas in the State and the IDPs’ camps so as to ascertain the gravity of activities of the insurgents and interface with the State government and security agencies in the State towards finding a lasting solution to the activities of the insurgents.
Bwacha, who claimed in the motion that over 2,000 people have been killed by the Fulani herdsmen since December 2013 till date in the State, added that the damage caused by the terrorists is a pointer to the fact that they are enemies to the State.
He recalled that Nigerians are aware that the Nigerian Army is recording tremendous success in the war against insurgents in the states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa (and hopefully Gombe).
“It is worrisome that Chris Olukolade, the former military director of Defence Information at the time intimidated the press that the suspects arrested in Gidin Dorowa in Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State confessed to be members of the Boko Haram group. There is a change of tactics by these insurgents, who now parade as herdsmen to make it more difficult for the unsuspecting public to identify them.
“Solomon Arase, the Inspector General of Police, disclosed in a publication that the herdsmen were involved in the killings are not one of the Fulani’s we know. We are worried that these attackers are masquerading themselves as Fulani herdsmen, who have killed over 2,000 people between December 2013 to date in the State,” he said.