Group blames Nigeria’s President Buhari for ethnic cleansing, profiling, land-grabbing separatist agitations

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Photo: President Muhammadu Buhari

Group blames Nigeria’s President Buhari for ethnic cleansing, profiling, land-grabbing separatist agitations

A group, Eminent Elders Forum (EEF) has blamed Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari for the current security challenges that are plaguing Nigeria, stressing that the President deliberately brought them upon the country and has been aiding and abetting them over the past six years.

EEF, which is an apolitical, non religious, non tribal/ethnic, non racial and non discriminatory body with current listed membership of over 300 of highly cerebral, accomplished and diversely distinguished eminent elders across the country, made this known in a communique issued at the end of a three-day virtual meeting which ended on Friday.

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The communique entitled:”Ethnic Profiling, Ethnic Cleansing, Dispossession of Indigenous Ancestral Lands by Foreign Invaders and the Heightened Separatists Agitations Across The Country Nigeria,” was signed by 11 officials of the group which comprises prominent Nigerians that included some former governors, ministers,lawmakers and retired top security personnel.

According to the group, its membership comprises of very top ranking senior citizens who have transversed all spheres of human endeavours including the very high politically exposed; high ranking fellows in the executive, legislative, judiciary, police, military, civil, public and private sectors of our country, Nigeria.

The communique reads in part:

“That the Government of the day in Nigeria, led by Major General Mohammadu Buhari, a Fulani man, is largely responsible for the ethnic profiling of the Fulanis through his utterances and actions particularly since he came into power again in 2015.

“That whatever we are witnessing today as a Nation was as a result of the foundation laid by the Major-General Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. He seems to have sustained the process through the negative instrumentality of the use of executive powers.

“It is his body language and silence which demonstrated in no small measure his approval of the massacre and ethnic cleansing in Kaduna, Middle Belt, South East and South West.

“The President has never openly condemned these killings, neither has the perpetrators been brought to book or prosecuted in any Court of law.

“That the heightened separatist agitations are a direct consequence of the prevailing situation of perceived injustice, lack of security of lives and properties, nepotism and religious bigotry.

“That though agitations for restructuring have been on the front burner since the late General Sani Abacha days, the demand for separation has now spread beyond South East and South West and now includes the Middle Belt and minority groups within North East and North West.

“That the ethnic cleansing and dispossession of indigenous ancestral lands by the Fulanis especially the aided foreign Fulanis said to be invited into the country by Mr. president’s political party has been ongoing in the last 6 years and has recently escalated to full blown invasion with the silence of the Government in power.

“That in some parts of the Middle Belt and Kaduna, indigenous land owners were wiped out by the criminal Fulani herdsmen/terrorists, who renamed ancestral villages and took over their lands.

“They renamed the indigenous ancestral places and even appointed administrators over the seized Areas “ the communique stated, among others.

It further said that in order to resolve the challenges, justice, equity and fairness must return to the polity (society) in all recruitments/appointments, particularly into various Federal Government Ministries, Agencies and Parastatals among others.

“The solution is either: total mutual disintegration or deliberate restructuring of Nigeria in line with the vision of the founding leaders of Nigeria. We would rather prefer the latter to avoid the former.

“Also, Nigerians, especially those aggrieved by the present obnoxious governance system should team up and exercise their electoral franchise to ensure that no person known to be grossly biased ethnically or a religious fanatic should ever occupy any political and/or administrative office in Nigeria going forward,” the group recommended, among others.

The full text of the communique is found below.

EMINENT ELDERS FORUM (EEF)

FOR URGENT RELEASE

PRESS STATEMENT

27TH AUGUST, 2021

ETHNIC PROFILING, ETHNIC CLEANSING, DISPOSSESSION OF INDIGENOUS ANCESTRAL LANDS BY “FOREIGN” INVADERS AND THE HEIGHTENED SEPARATISTS AGITATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, NIGERIA.

BACKGROUND

Eminent Elders Forum (EEF) comprises of very top ranking senior citizens who have transversed all spheres of human endeavours including the very high politically exposed; high ranking fellows in the executive, legislative, judiciary, police, military, civil, public and private sectors of our country, Nigeria.

Ethnic Profiling, Ethnic Cleansing, Dispossession of Indigenous Ancestral Lands by Foreign Invaders and the Heightened Separatists Agitations Across The Country Nigeria.

Many of the members of the Eminent Elders Forum are far into their retirement from active service but came together to offer elderly advisories, to reminisce, share experiences and contribute to the well being of humanity.

The Eminent Elders Forum is apolitical, non religious, non tribal/ethnic, non racial and non discriminatory body with current listed membership of over 300 of highly cerebral, accomplished and diversely distinguished eminent elders across the country.

Recently, the body had a three-day virtual Meeting/Discussion, precisely between 8th and 11th of August, 2021 on the topical national issues of Ethnic Profiling, Ethnic Cleansing, Dispossession of Indigenous Ancestral Lands by Foreign Invaders and the Heightened Separatists Agitations Across The Country Nigeria.

As expected of high level discussions on national issues such as this, the deliberation was highly tasking intellectually, energy sapping and based on facts.

At the end of the three-day deliberations, Eminent Elders Forum resolved as stated below:

DISCUSSIONS

THAT the Government of the day in Nigeria, led by Major General Mohammadu Buhari, a Fulani man, is largely responsible for the ethnic profiling of the Fulanis through his utterances and actions particularly since he came into power again in 2015.

Speaking in Cairo, Egypt during the African Union Summit in 2018, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari gave free entry into Nigeria to foreign Fulanis from all over the continent.

These are the same Fulanis who on arrival in Nigeria occupied the forests all over the country, from late 2019 through 2020, during the lock down occasioned by the ravaging Pandemic – COVID-19.

THAT no sooner did these foreign Fulanis occupied the forests than all manners of killings, kidnappings, destruction of farmlands and properties escalated across the nation.

THAT an ethnic group associated with the current President of Nigeria has been fingered in the various odd happenings in Nigeria presently.

Information has filtered through talks by eminent persons that confirms the unfortunate involvement of that ethnic group in the mayhem plaguing the country.

THAT by virtue of their age old occupation as cattle herders, the Fulanis under Miyetti Allah cattle breeders association believed they owned grazing routes in all parts of the Federation and therefore are entitled to possess by force of arms these routes for grazing of their cattle.

Migrating with their cattle causes confrontation with indigenous land owners. However, the magnanimity to accommodate roving band or nomadic people shouldn’t translate to abrogation of traditional rights of land ownership.

 

Ethnic Cleansing In Nigeria.

THAT a lot has been said about the current killings and destruction of properties and total disregard to the sanctity of lives in Nigeria.

There are factors that showed clearly that the current killings have pogromic and ethnic cleansing intents. These are meticulously planned and systematically executed with the sanctions of the present government and Leadership.

THAT some Fulanis have nursed the ambition of conquest of Nigeria which they also believe is naturally endowed to them. This has been demonstrated by the Feudal Fulani Leadership, the ruling class in the North as represented by Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto in the sixties.

What we have today in respect of the killings and ethnic cleansing in the Middle Belt, South East, South South and South West is a deepened effort to perpetuate the whims and caprices of some Fulani Feudal Machine.

THAT this is also demonstrated in the thinking and actions of the present Government headed by Major-General Mohammadu Buhari, a Fulani man. That Major-General Muhammadu Buhari considers himself the Madhi i.e. Messiah of Islam in Nigeria and therefore seems to be in full support of whatever will deny the rest of Nigerians their lives in order to make the Fulanis the Feudal Lords in Nigeria and for Nigeria to become a full-fledged Islamic State.

The ethnic cleansing and dispossession of indigenous ancestral land:

THAT this has been on for sometime but since 2013, it became an open secret that escalated to full invasion and occupation by foreign Fulanis with the silent and subterranean support of the present Government Major-General Muhammadu Buhari’s regime.

This is evident in Borno, Plateau, Kaduna, Benue and most recently in Niger and Ebonyi States among others.

The current Government of Kaduna State should be held responsible for the ongoing pogrom/genocide and destruction/ sacking of the settlements in southern Kaduna. 

THAT it is generally believed that whatever we are witnessing today as a Nation was as a result of the foundation laid by the Major-General Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. He seems to have sustained the process through the negative instrumentality of the use of executive powers.

It is his body language and silence which demonstrated in no small measure his approval of the massacre and ethnic cleansing in Kaduna, Middle Belt, South East and South West.

The President has never openly condemned these killings, neither has the perpetrators been brought to book or prosecuted in any Court of law.

Heightened Separatists Agitations Across The Country.

THAT the heightened separatist agitation is a direct consequence of the prevailing situation of perceived injustice, lack of security of lives and properties, nepotism and religious bigotry.

Though agitations for restructuring have been on the front burner since the late General Sani Abacha days, the demand for separation has now spread beyond South East and South West and now in hi cludes the Middle Belt and minority groups within North East and North West.

THAT in some parts of the Middle Belt and Kaduna, indigenous land owners were wiped out by the criminal Fulani herdsmen/terrorists, who renamed ancestral villages and took over their lands. They renamed the indigenous ancestral places and even appointed administrators over the seized Areas.

THAT the heightened separatist agitations have assumed unprecedented dimensions in Nigeria, first in period immediately preceding and during the civil war from 1967, and now during the Buhari led administration.

THAT Nigerians are no longer one, but many. Enmity has taken over in the midst of distrust, injustice, unfairness, zero-someness, winner-takes-all, breakdown of values, institution of mediocrity, ethnic bigotry, feudalism etc.

Such tense environment of insecurity and threat of pogrom and ethnic based massacre which is the body language of some leaders have heightened the call for separation.

THAT Major-General Muhammadu Buhari is largely responsible for the ethnic profiling of the Fulanis through his utterances and actions particularly since he came into governance again in 2015.

THAT the main terrorist groups, whether they are called Bandits, herdsmen and/or kidnappers are mainly Fulanis, especially the Fulani mercenaries from Libya, Mali, Niger and Chad which this Major-General Muhammadu Buhari’s regime seems to have facilitated easy access to Nigeria through highly compromised national institutions.

THAT the early Fulani cattle-herders we knew pre- Major-General Muhammadu Buhari’s regime now did not carry AK47 to pasture their cattle.

The influx of these murderous Fulani invaders started when the APC, the political party of Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, brought them to participate as agent provocateur in the 2015 election to enure that Major-General Muhammadu Buhari emerged as President of Nigeria.

THAT Major-General Muhammadu Buhari attended AU summit in Egypt three years ago where he made a public pronouncement to grant Fulanis from all over the African continent free and unfettered access into Nigeria. This he did without recourse to and/or approval from the National Assembly.

Now the same Fulani mercenaries are occupying the forests all over the country. This absurdity was surreptitiously and especially accelerated from early 2020 when Nigeria was espected to be under the pandemic COVID-19 lockdown.

No sooner these Fulani occupied the forests than all manners of killings, kidnapping, destruction of properties escalated across the Nation.

The profiling of the Fulani invaders as terrorist is therefore justified.

Silence is consent and this could be seen in the attitude and utterances of the Fulani elites, politicians and leaders of Miyetti Allah.

The ethnic cleansing and dispossession of indigenous ancestral lands by the Fulanis especially the aided foreign Fulanis said to be invited into the country by Mr. president’s political party has been ongoing in the last 6 years and has recently escalated to full blown invasion with the silence of the Government in power.

This is evident in Plateau, Kaduna, Benue and most recently Niger States among others.

The present  Government of Kaduna State should be held responsible for the ongoing pogrom in Kaduna.

Mallam El-Rufai, the current Governor of Kaduna State, like Major-General Muhammadu Buhari are both Fulanis perceived to be using their official positions to further a supposedly clandestine Fulani agenda.

The heightened separatist agitation is a direct consequence of the prevailing situation of perceived injustice and lack of security of lives and properties.

Though agitation for restructuring has been on the front burner since late General Abacha days, the demand for separation has now spread beyond the SE and SW and now includes the middle belt and minority ethnic nationalities within NW and NE.

OUR RESOLUTIONS DEMANDS

1. CHANGE in attitude and utterances and style of governance by Major-General Mohammadu Buhari and his government.

Respect for the rule of law, justice and fairness to all.

Respect the spirit of Federal character in all appointments into Federal executive positions.

2. THE armed forces should be more pro-active to stop the killings, abductions, kidnapping and banditry; flush out the foreign invaders from Nigeria territorial space and restore security of lives and properties of citizens across the countries Nigeria.

3. REPLACE the 1999 constitution (not Amendment) with the 1963 constitution with amendments to reflect today’s realities in Nigeria.

4. ABOVE all, restore peace to all occupied land in all the States, rehabilitate and settle all the displaced people in the IDPS back into their homes and ancestral lands.

5. REMEMBER our first National Anthem at Independence:

*Nigeria we hail thee, our own dear native land, though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand* etc.

The last verse “O God of all creation, grant this our one request, help us to build a nation where no man is oppressed and so with peace and plenty Nigeria may be blessed.”

6. THE first National Anthem was the spirit that prevailed across the country. We say with all sense of responsibility that, if we cannot re-enact such spirit in this nation called Nigeria, then without mincing words: to thy various tents oh Nigerians becomes a sine qua non.

We can part in peace to allow each ethnic groups/nationalities to develop and manage their affairs at their own pace. 

7. JUSTICE, equity and fairness must return to our polity (society) in all RECRUITMENTS/APPOINTMENTS particularly into various Federal Government Ministries, Agencies and Parastatals among others.

8. APPROPRIATE application and respect for the law.

9. PROPER handling and prosecution of reported cases of attacks and killings in the communities across the country

10. THE solution is either: total mutual disintegration or deliberate restructuring of Nigeria in line with the vision of the founding leaders of Nigeria. We would rather prefer the latter to avoid the former.

11. TO find a way out of the quagmire, we will need to do the following:

(i).  ACCEPT that there is a deep-rooted problem plaguing the nation and accept faults where necessary and make amends.

(ii). AGREE that Nigerian people have the right to determine if and how they want to continue to live and be governed

12. PUT in place a constitution drafting committee that will consult across the country to draft a people’s constitution that must be subjected to a referendum.

13. EQUITY, Fairness and Justice must be the norm and not the exception that it is today.

14. ETHNIC cleansing are grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva conventions and 1977 additional protocols and must be stopped forthwith.

15. NIGERIANS especially those aggrieved by the present obnoxious governance system should team up and exercise their electoral franchise to ensure that no person known to be grossly biased ethnically or a religious fanatic should ever occupy any political and/or administrative office in Nigeria going forward.

16. THE issue of religion(s) should be separated and distinct from State affairs.Givernment has no business in religious affairs.

Nigeria is a secular state and should be seen to be secular in all ramifications of governance in the country.

17. PREVENT the present administrations both at federal and state levels by all reasonable and lawful means from causing further collateral damages in the remaining tenure of their administration.

18. TOTAL Restructuring on the basis of the 2014 national confab resolutions or as may be reasonably modified.

19. REPEAL the 1999 constitution and re-introduce the 1963 constitution with necessary amendments to reflect today’s realities in Nigeria.

Signed:

1. His Excellency, Okwadike Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife CON, Co-Chair, EEF Steering Committee.

2.His Excellency, Alhaji Mukhtari Shehu Shagari CFR, Alternate Chairman, EFF Steering Committee

3. Dr Akin Fapohunda, Secretary, EFF Steering Committee.

4. Professor Chukwuemeka Eze Onukaogu, Chairman, EFF Communiques/Resolutions Committee.

5. Hajia Dr Baraka Sani, Co-Chair, EEF Communiques/Resolutions Committee.

6. Elder Muyiwa Ayo-Vaughan, Secretary, Communiques/Resolutions Committee.

7. Elder Smolette Adetoyese Shittu-Alamu, Chairman, EFF Media and Publicity Committee.

8. Alhaji Ibrahim I Ahmed, Co-Chair, Media and Publicity Committee.

9. Rt Honourable Bright Omokhodion, Alternate Chairman, EFF Media and Publicity Committee.

10. Honourable John Nwokocha, Secretary, Media and Publicity Committee

11. Professor Echefuna’ R. G. ONYEBEADI, Convener/Coordinator, Eminent Elders Forum.

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