The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has strongly condemned last week’s alleged killing of about 60 Fulanis including women and children in Shaforon, Kikem and Kodemti villages in Numan, describing the act as horrendous, heartless and barbaric.
Stating that “Fingers are pointing at Bachama militia men”, MURIC said: “This is wanton waste of human life. It is nothing short of ethnic cleansing and a crime against humanity”.
It will be recalled that over 130 Fulani people were also killed in June this year as hundreds of Fulani villages on the Mambilla Plateau were raided by members of the Mambilla tribe allegedly on the orders of the chairman of Sardauna Local Government Area, Mr. John Yep.
But a statement signed by MURIC’s Director, Professor Ishaq Akinola, said: “We are deeply disturbed by the rate at which ethnic violence is erupting in Nigeria. We are equally constrained to blame the recent attack on authors of hate speech, particularly those motivated by anti-Fulani, anti-North and anti-Muslim sentiments.
“We contend that these primordial emotions are inter-connected and cannot be separated with microscopic accuracy. Those who whip up anti-Fulani sentiments do so because of their hatred for Muslims and their inability to tolerate Islam. Those who speak evil of Fulanis are fully aware that more than 95 per cent of the Fulani population is Muslim.
“The same people incite Nigerians against herdsmen. They have forgotten that every profession has inherent values and every Nigerian worker renders one service or another to the nation. Instead of appreciating hard-working itinerant herdsmen, tribal and religious sentiment blind authors of hate speech. We contend that the entire anti-Fulani imbroglio would melt like ice cream in the hot sun today if the Fulani population reverts to Christianity en masse.
“While we commiserate with the Taraba people on these brutal killings, we charge the Nigerian security agencies to bring the culprits to book. We call on the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to investigate these atrocities. We also urge the United Nations to set up an international judicial commission of inquiry into this horrible crime against humanity.
“MURIC invites authors of hate speech to change their mindset. Perception has the capacity to becloud minds and rob humanity of fair assessment. Ethnic jingoism limits human interaction, blocks opportunities and debilitates understanding while acrobatic religiousity deprives humanity of that thin veneer of civilization and erodes its infinitesimally small atom of sagacity”.
For a better society.