In a blame game following long-standing attacks on Christian communities in Adamawa state the major Christian tribe in the area, the Pene Da Bwatiye, has denied accusations that they were embarking on a genocide or ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Muslims.
The war of words made reference to the killing of Christians in Numan by Islamist herdsmen and a subsequent reprisal attack, as well as the killing of 30 Muslims in a mosque in Mubi by suspected Boko Haram activists.
In a 1 December statement, Chief H.O Tadouna, National Vice President of the Pene Da Bwatiye, said that it was well known that Fulani Herdsmen were terrorising farmers. He said they had killed more people than Boko Haram without any ‘arrests’.
He said: “Terrorist activities of cattle herdsmen in most parts of Nigeria have been more dastardly and gruesome. In recent times, 27 persons were killed while asleep in ‘Nkeduru’ community of Bassa Local Government area of Plateau state; 102 people were killed and over 50, 000 houses burnt by rampaging herdsmen in 25 communities where 215 others were brutally wounded. The same herdsmen in Benue State also killed over 500 people and 30, 000 others displaced in Buruku, Kwande, Agatu and other environs of Gboko. In nearby Taraba state, 11 persons were killed and 15, 000 others displaced in Bali Local Government area. This wave of brutality by herdsmen in the southern part of the country did not leave out 40 persons killed in Nimbo Uzo-Uwani Local Government area in Enugu state.”
He accused security forces of either connivance or deliberately looking the other way. The leader of Pene Da Bwatiye said, “in all cases however, security agencies have been lackadaisical and slow to respond even when reports reached them on time.”
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos.
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